The Colorado Springs Fire Department wants the public to know that they are aware of the many warming fires currently being lit throughout the City of Colorado Springs, often by the homeless population. These fires are often classified as “recreational”. It is important for citizens to be able to recognize the difference between a controlled recreational fire and a hostile fire. While recreational fires are allowed in the City of Colorado Springs, there are specific guidelines which must be followed to lower the risk of a recreational fire becoming hostile, requiring fire and police involvement.  As citizens of the City see fires along the creeks or open spaces within City limits, please note that these fires are not always hostile in nature and may not require a 911 response. However, if the fire appears to be hostile and/or aggressively burning, encroaching into tents or surrounding trees/areas, citizens should activate the 911 system.
Please note, open fires are prohibited in parks and open spaces.
Recreational fires are allowed within the City of Colorado Springs in accordance with the guidelines outlined below and in the absence of a burn restriction or burn ban. A recreational fire is:

  • an outdoor fire where materials other than rubbish are being burned and it is not contained in a permanent fixture (incinerator, outdoor fireplace, BBQ grill).
  • Intended for cooking, warmth, religious, ceremonial or other special purposes.
  • They must not have a total fuel area greater than 3 feet in diameter and must be less than 2 feet in height.
  • At least 25 feet away from a structure or combustible materials and must not at any point move any closer to the structure than the stated 25 foot distance.

Please note that these guidelines change in the event of burn restrictions or a burn ban. Here are the complete burning guidelines:

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