Can You Have A Fire While Camping in Colorado? (Explained)

Can You Have a Fire While Camping in Colorado

Camping is where you get to participate in fun activities outside the norm. The likes of bonfire nights, outdoor games, and lots more!

Few things come close compared to the thrill and fun of wildlife camping trips. 

However, there are always rules and restrictions to camping activities for a safe camping experience per every state’s law. 

For instance, in Colorado, there are a lot of stringent rules and restrictions that come with making campfires. 

You can have a fire while camping in Colorado, although they must fall under recreational fires. There are many restrictions to having campfires while camping in Colorado, especially for large outdoor fires. For instance, the national forest restriction laws highly prohibit open fires/open burning.

Are you planning a camping trip in Colorado that involves making campfires? Then, you must get to know the restrictions on campfires in Colorado. 

This article contains all you know about camping in Colorado and the restrictions around campfires for a safe camping experience.  

Are You Allowed to Light Campfires at Colorado State Parks?

Can You Have a Fire While Camping in Colorado

Yes, you can light campfires at Colorado state parks. However, with the restrictions around campfires in Colorado, you’ll agree with me that lighting campfires are only to certain degrees. 

Generally, open fires/open burning is not permissible in state parks and most recreational sites. The same applies to Colorado state parks.

Lighting campfires at Colorado state parks are only permissible if you comply with the local restrictions of the park

In Colorado state parks, if there must be a campfire, it must always be in the designated fire pit available in the area. Wood fires are also allowed in the built fire pit or the fire rings of the park. 

When it comes to grilling in the park, charcoal fire grilling is allowed; however, only in the park picnic areas. 

In addition, state park fires must always be small, manageable, and well attended to in every circumstance, even in the case of pit fires.

Fire safety in Colorado state parks is crucial; as such, the restrictions relating to fire are very stringent, even down to smoking. 

Smoking is never allowed in Colorado state parks, not to mention careless campfires. 

You can only smoke within enclosed cars, structures, or places barren of flammable materials at least three feet in diameter

Smoking is a potential fire starter, so it is prohibited in Colorado parks. So also, campfires are only allowed in Colorado state parks if they comply with Colorado fire restrictions. 

Where Are Campfires Allowed in Colorado?

In Colorado, campfires are allowed in all campgrounds, all four state parks in Colorado, and even some recreational sites. 

However, one thing is common with all the places mentioned above: there is always a provisional fire pit or ring for the campfires. 

Colorado campgrounds have designated fire pits or fire rings for campfires, as the case may be. 

Lighting campfires anywhere or outside the fire pits and rings is an infringement of the state’s law that relates to campfires. 

Added to the provisional fire pits and rings are stringent restrictions for lighting different campfires. 

Campfires are one way of having fun and enjoying outdoor activities, especially at night. And as such, it is common to see fire pits, rings, and grills on campgrounds and some recreational sites. 

So, Colorado allows campfires in all places with fire pits and rings. Also, if you can quickly turn off the campfire, then it is allowed. 

However, only some campfires are allowed, even with fire pits and rings. Even with the provisional allowance of campfires in Colorado, the kind of campfire also matters. 

Generally, campfires larger than recreational fires are not allowed on campgrounds in Colorado, regardless of the provisional law. 

Also, campfires in Colorado must be small, manageable, and always attended to for the environment’s safety. 

The allowable fire in Colorado must fall under the provisional restrictions of the state’s local law.

Can I Get in Trouble for Lighting Campfires in Colorado?

You will undoubtedly get into trouble for lighting Colorado campfires outside the provided state law restrictions. 

The consequences of lighting campfires against Colorado state law range from a potential $5,000 fine to about six months in jail.

It is safe to assume that you already know the dire implications that come with wildfire within the state of Colorado. 

With the wildlife situation in Colorado, there are certain kinds of fire bans and restrictions. 

Therefore, any outdoor fire not under the provisional fire restriction of Colorado infringes the law.

Therefore, while planning on a camping trip or any outdoor activity that involves making bonfires, you must always be conscious of the state’s fire restrictions

Ensure you familiarize yourself with the state’s fire bans and restrictions to avoid trouble. It is okay to call the county sheriff or forest service office for information.

It is better to understand Colorado state law on fire bans and restrictions. This way, you’re sure of a safe and enjoyable camping experience, not to mention the safety of Colorado wildlife. 

One thing worth noting about the Colorado state law relating to fire activities is that the state’s law is ever-changing. 

The ever-changing law is due to Colorado’s wildlife condition and the need to keep up with local environmental law in real-time. 

Also, Colorado fire laws and restrictions include potential activities that can inadvertently spark fires, such as outdoor smoking, target shooting, and chainsaw sa. 

Therefore, it is best to assume an outdoor fire ban to be safe and avoid state trouble when unsure of the restrictions.

Are Fire Pits Allowed in Colorado Camps?

Indeed, fire pits and fire rings are generally allowed in Colorado camps. Also, gas grills, gas stoves, and all gas lanterns are allowable in Colorado camps.

In practice, fire pits/rings are the safest methods to curtail and maintain outdoor fires, and as such, they are allowable in camps. 

So, for fire safety and a good camp experience, you’ll find many campsites and recreational sites with designated fire pits

For safe camping, campfires must always be small and manageable. Fire pits/rings are the best methods to check the campfire safety boxes. 

Open fires are the primary kind of campfires that are not allowed in Colorado camps. Also, fires larger than the typical recreational fire is against Colorado camping law.

The underlying factor for fire pits in Colorado camps is whether the fire can be “turned off” rather than “put out.” 

Let’s look at what is allowed in Colorado camps and what is not. The table below will give you clarity. 

Allowed in Colorado CampsNot Allowed in Colorado Camps
Fire pits/rings.Open fires/burning.
Gas-fueled stove (Barbecue Grill)Smoking in open places.
Charcoal grills.Shooting explosive targets.
Tiki torches.Kerosine lanterns. 

When Is the Best Time to Fire Camp in Colorado?

As for the season to go camping in Colorado, late June to mid-September is just about the best time for camping. 

In Colorado, the winter season is usually long and rough. As such, most campgrounds are closed during this season because of various underlying factors. 

Surprisingly, winter still comes early, sometimes around mid-September down to early June. 

The best time remains from late June to mid-September, as it is the prime weather for camping in Colorado. 

Unsurprisingly, the shock of people in Colorado camping during this time is high. However, April, May, October, and early November are good times to come camping in Colorado. 

Colorado parks are relatively warm and less crowded, making them suitable for camping even within these months. But the mountains and trails aren’t ideal for camping during this season. 

Meanwhile, the best time of the day to fire camp in Colorado is obviously from the evening time through the night time.

Campfires are always the best setting to share stories, eat, and enjoy the big starry night sky. 

Making a campfire enjoyable at night rather than during the day is the feeling of just living in the moment. There are only a few distractions at night, so you’ll get to live in the moment. 

Josh Matthews

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