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Fire Restriction Confusion Hits Southeast Colorado

Updated: May 3, 2022

(Las Animas, CO) -- Bent County has not adopted a burn ban although that was a rumor that had to be cleared up pulsating through social media groups and texts.

Otero, Kiowa, Crowley, and Lincoln county have adopted fire restrictions. AND, Las Animas COUNTY also has. Maybe that's what started the talk but let's explain.

Each county has the ability through county commissioners, emergency manager, the Sheriff who is also the county Fire Marshall and the Fire Chief to officially call fire restrictions on the county.

As of Monday May 2nd, Bent County Sheriff Jake Six, Bent County Emergency Manager Troy Abdulla and County Commissioner Jean Sykes all confirmed to Colorado News Your Way directly that Bent County is not under stage one fire restrictions as the other counties. However, they have the ability to decide to enact stage one fire restrictions at any time if they feel that weather conditions, drought conditions and resources warrant doing so.

It's not an easy decision to make as agricultural operations are trying to get their work done for the spring. This often times demands controlled AG burns.

So about the Stage One Fire Restrictions that are in effect for Otero county.

According to ordinance recently enacted in Otero, a stage one fire restriction ordinance bans the following actions:

There are fines for violating the stage one fire restrictions in the counties in which they are in place. The state of Colorado has a fire restrictions map by county. You can see it here.

With high winds and dry conditions we should all still be very careful. If you are curious as to where our region is in drought, well, there's a map for that too. Take a look at it here.

Otero, Crowley, Pueblo and Las Animas counties are under a Red Flag Fire Warning for Tuesday May 3. The national weather service out of Pueblo reports that winds could be gusting up to 55 miles per hour and relative humidity is around 12 percent.

As I sit here in my 1890s farmhouse news studio writing this the winds are shaking the house. I hope this helped a bit with the confusion that's been out there concerning fire restrictions, and I hope you are safe and well in this wind.

~Anne Boswell

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