Teller County Burn Restriction Leaves Piles Of Danger Untouched
While many in the state, including Gov. John Hickenlooper, call for a halt to controlled burns in the state of Colorado, others wait.
In Teller County, that's between 70 to 80 people each year that request a burn permit.
"The ironic thing is that they are trying to make their property safer," said Derek Kilik, who handles a lot of the inspections done by the Northeast Teller County Fire District.
Kilik said most burns consist of slash -- cut up trees, branches and other debris-- that if left unchecked could leave homes susceptible to fire damage.
Firefighters want to make sure that those doing controlled burns have a garden hose, shovels, or a fire extinguisher on hand. Controlled burns are also supposed to be done at least 50 feet away from a home or structure.
Kilik said if the slash pile is bigger than the size of three campfires, firefighters are usually on scene to oversee the prescribed burn.
Normally, once a burn gets the OK from firefighters, a permit is applied for through the county.
On Wednesday, Hickenlooper put a ban on the prescribed burns by the U.S. Forest service due to the Lower North Forks Fire, which got out of control on Monday, killing two people and destroying several dozen homes in Jefferson County.
The Colorado Forester said embers from a controlled burn that began on Thursday and presumed to be extinguished sparked the Lower North Forks Fire.
Fire restrictions for Teller County went into effect Tuesday. Should those restrictions be lifted, Kilik said it's hard to imagine many permits being granted from this point forward because of the extremely dry conditions.
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