Colorado State Archives
Executive Orders from the Administration of Governor Bill Owens 1999-2005
Friday, June 23, 2000
Amy Jewett Sampson
OWENS URGES COUNTY COMMISSIONERS TO RE-ENFORCE LOCAL FIRE RESTRICTIONS TO HELP PREVENT FURTHER WILDFIRES
DENVER – Governor Bill Owens, in a letter to county commissioners in all of Colorado’s 63 counties, urged local officials to review the open-burning restrictions currently in force in each of their counties to ensure that they are the most effective means possible to reduce the risk of future wildfires.
After discussing the fire prevention issue with county commissioners and local officials, the Governor concluded that imposing statewide fire-prevention restrictions does not serve the best interest of the citizens of Colorado.
"A county-based approach to fire prevention recognizes that local officials – the leaders who live in the area where open-burning restrictions may be imposed – are best-positioned to determine which specific measures will be most effective to protect life, health and property of their fellow citizens," said Gov. Owens.
According to Colorado law, counties have the power to ban open fires to a degree and in a manner that the board of county commissioners deems necessary to reduce the danger of wildfires within those portions of the unincorporated areas of the county where the danger of forest or grass fires in found to be high.
Furthermore, since policing of open-burning restrictions rests chiefly with county sheriffs, the Governor believes that policy decisions relating to the most effective allocation of enforcement resources should properly be determined at the county level.
Due to the ongoing wildfire threat in much of Colorado, 47 of Colorado’s 63 counties have imposed various restrictions on open burning.
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