TORRINGTON – The Goshen County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to enact a partial fire ban due to hot and dry conditions.
Goshen County Fire Warden Bill Law requested the ban, which will limit permitted fires to campfires contained in a fire ring, charcoal and gas grill use, acetylene cutting torches or electric welders in cleared areas 10 feet in radius. Controlled burns are not recommended, but are allowed.
The ban will go into effect on June 29 and last until it is rescinded by the GCC.
Law, who also serves on the Torrington City Council, told the city he likes to hold off on enacting a partial ban until later in the year, but that wasn’t an option this year.
“We are going to be initiating a partial fire ban, effective June 29,” he said. “Normally I try to not put that in effect until after the Fourth of July, because we have people celebrating. This year, we just have to do it now.”
Law said grass is beginning to fry out in the county, and that compared with high temperatures and winds can be concerning.
“It’s a worry because we’ve got all of that grass that we had earlier in the year, it’s now fuel,” he said. “It’s hot, we’ve had incessant winds and it’s time. We need to be aware.”
A legal notice for a previous partial fire ban reminded rural residents to use caution while maintaining their property.
“The fire warden suggests rural property owners consider taking proper steps such as mowing and cleaning weeds and debris from around your buildings immediately,” the notice said. “You are reminded not to park or drive in tall grass and weeds as hot exhaust systems can easily cause a fire.”
Law also said that although Independence Day is right around the corner, fireworks are not allowed inside city limits, regardless of fire ban status.
“Fireworks are a part of our American heritage and I’ve always enjoyed it,” he said. “There is a great responsibility that goes with any property owner or landowner when they start fires intentionally without the proper guidelines being followed.
“There is an ordinance that says there will be no discharge of fireworks within the city limits. It is a misdemeanor in the city ordinance.”