Campers reminded to be careful with campfires as temperatures rise

DENVER -- Fire crews responded to more than 140 calls about out-of-control campfires last year.

With the holiday week kicking off, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding campers to be careful building fires. There's a stiff fine that comes with not being vigilant.

Wildlife officials expect all of its campsites to be at capacity by the morning of the Fourth of July.

Park rangers are urging campers to build fires slowly, using small materials such as paper or brush and make sure fires are fully extinguished but drowning them when finished.

A penalty for not doing that increased last year to $750 and possibly jail time.

While Colorado no longer is in a drought, rangers don't want anyone to have a false sense of security.

"Whether we're in a drought restriction, a fire ban or no restriction, it's important that we're keeping those same safe fire practices," ranger Callie Trujillo said.

Trujillo said a good way to make sure a fire is all the way out is to stir it after dousing it with water, making sure there won't be any flare-ups.

Officials also said fireworks are not allowed at state parks.

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