Open Space restricts campfires year-round, allows e-bikes on all trails

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By Corinne Westeman

Jeffco Open Space has updated its regulations to restrict campfires, charcoal grills, open flames and smoking, which will effectively put parks under a Stage 2 fire ban year-round.

The agency also has allowed e-bikes in all parks after its pilot program this past year was successful.

Both of these updates to park regulations are effective immediately.

According to a JCOS news release, its regulations on open fires were changed because of ongoing high fire dangers in the parks. The most recent wildfire was Dec. 1 near Matthews/Winters Park and Dinosaur Ridge.

"Current Jefferson County conditions are such that any accidental spark or unattended campfire could result in catastrophic loss and danger for the land, wildlife and residents," the release states. "The risk is too great and far outweighs the enjoyment that campfires or smoking within our parks can offer."

With the new regulations, no campfires, charcoal grills or open flames will be allowed in the parks. Smoking only will be permitted within an enclosed vehicle or at a developed trailhead area that's devoid of vegetation.

Only devices that are liquid fueled with an on/off switch, such as gas grills and stoves, are allowed, the agency clarified. These devices should only be used in developed areas that are completely clear of vegetation for at least a six-foot diameter.
Regarding e-bikes, the agency now allows Class 1 e-bikes on natural-surface trails at all parks, and Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes are allowed on paved trails within parks.

Jeffco Open Space stated it came to this decision after collecting visitor feedback, doing extensive research and working with local bicycle advocacy groups.

In April 2017, Colorado legislators passed a bill that allowed the use of Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes on bike or pedestrian paths where bicycles are allowed to travel.

More information on the updated regulations is available on the agency's website.


Contact reporter Corinne Westeman at 303-567-4491 or cwesteman@evergreenco.com, and follow her on Twitter @cwesteman.