FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

What are the Open Burning Regulations?

The following is a description of the Open Burning Regulations for all jurisdictions within the Clear Creek Fire Authority, which includes the towns of Idaho Springs, Georgetown, Silver Plume, and Empire, as well as all unincorporated areas of Clear Creek County, except those that fall under the jurisdiction of the Evergreen Fire Protection District (far eastern Clear Creek County). Note that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment also governs open burning with regard to emissions.

Recreational Fires are defined as burning of materials other than rubbish where fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace or barbecue pit and with a total fuel area of 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, or similar purposes.

Recreational Fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material unless contained in a barbecue pit. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition. Buckets, shovels, or garden hoses shall be readily available for use at recreational fires.

Recreational Fires shall be constantly attended by a person knowledgeable in the use of fire extinguishing equipment required above. An attendant shall supervise a recreational fire until such fire has been extinguished. The Chief or his designee is authorized to require that recreational fires be immediately discontinued if such fires are determined to constitute a hazardous condition.

Open Burning is the burning of a bonfire, rubbish fire, or other fire in an outdoor location where fuel being burned is not contained in an approved incinerator, outdoor fireplace, or barbecue pit. Prior to commencement of Open Burning, a permit shall be obtained from the Clear Creek Fire Authority (303-567-4342) office. The Clear Creek County Sheriff dispatch (303-569-3232) shall be notified of start time and finish time each day burning is to take place.

Open Burning of rubbish containing paper products is prohibited. Open Burning shall only be performed when time, weather, and atmospheric conditions comply with the limits set forth in the Open Burning Permit.

Open Burning shall not be conducted within 50 feet of any structure or other combustible material. Conditions which could cause the fire to spread within 50 feet of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition. Clearance from structures and other combustible material may be reduced to: (1) not less than 15 feet when burning is conducted in an approved burning appliance (to be approved by CCFA); or (2) not less than 25 feet when the pile size is 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height.

During Open Burning, a garden hose connected to a water supply or other approved fire extinguishing equipment shall be readily available for use at open burning sites. Burning material shall be constantly attended by a person knowledgeable in the use of fire extinguishing equipment required by this section and familiar with the permit limitations which restrict open burning. An attendant shall supervise the burning material until the fire has been extinguished.

During Open Burning, the Chief or his designee is authorized to require that Open Burning be immediately discontinued if he determines that smoke emissions are offensive to occupants of surrounding property or if the Open Burning is determined to constitute a hazardous condition.

Rubber, tires, plastic, insulation, and other materials that produce heavy smoke shall not be burned. Under no circumstances shall toxic or hazardous materials be burned.

Open burning shall only be allowed during the time of 2 hours after sunrise until two hours before sunset. Open burning shall not continue overnight.

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What Is My I.S.O. Rating?

I.S.O. Ratings are used by the insurance industry to set fire insurance rates. The Insurance Services Organization (I.S.O.) periodically inspects each jurisdiction and sets the rating based on the availability and adequacy of fire department response, water supply, and testing/recordkeeping.

In general, the current I.S.O. ratings for various areas within the Clear Creek Fire Authority are as follows:

AREA

ISO
Rating

Incorporated Idaho Springs serviced by municipal water supply

6

Incorporated Georgetown serviced by municipal water supply

6

Incorporated Empire serviced by municipal water supply

6

Incorporated Silver Plume serviced by municipal water supply

7

St. Mary’s/Alice area - structures within 1,000 feet of a dry hydrant

9

St. Mary’s/Alice area - structures more than 1,000 feet from a dry hydrant

9

York Gulch area - structures within 1,000 feet of a dry hydrant

9

York Gulch area - structures more than 1,000 feet from a dry hydrant

9

Dumont-Downieville-Lawson area - structures within 1,000 feet of a dry hydrant

9

Dumont-Downieville-Lawson area - structures more than 1,000 feet from a dry hydrant

9

Floyd Hill Area

10

Blue Valley Acres Area

10

Any structure more than 5 road miles from nearest fire station

10

 

If your not sure where you are according to this information, you can contact us and we will give you more information. Simply call (303) 567-4342 or e-mail us at kb@clearcreekfire.com with your name, physical address of the property in question, and phone number. Someone will get back with you promptly.

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How Do I Become a Volunteer Firefighter?

The Clear Creek Fire Authority is always accepting applications for volunteer firefighters. There is a special need for active volunteers at the Silver Plume, Empire, Dumont, St. Mary’s, and York Gulch stations.

The Clear Creek Fire Authority has an application, testing, and interview process that it uses to select qualified individuals. Minimum qualifications include a good driving record, 18 years of age or older, and pass a physical agility test. If you are accepted as a volunteer firefighter, you will receive expert training and the opportunity to help protect the lives and property of your community.

The Clear Creek Fire Authority has other volunteer opportunities in administration, support, and special events. To find out more about the volunteer program, contact us at (303) 567-4342, send us an E-mail at kb@clearcreekfire.com, or click on the JOIN! link on the home page.

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Can We Tour the Fire Station?

Absolutely!! The volunteer firefighters are always happy to show off their equipment and their station. However, the stations are not staffed 24 hours a day, so we encourage you to schedule a tour in advance by calling the Clear Creek Fire Authority office at (303) 567-4342 or e-mail us at kb@clearcreekfire.com. If you are scheduling a group tour, we would appreciate at least two weeks notice so we can coordinate your visit with other scheduled activities. You can specify the fire station you would like to tour. Most groups prefer to tour our Idaho Springs and Georgetown stations, since they have the widest variety of apparatus and equipment.

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What Can You Tell Me About Smoke Detectors?

All newly constructed or renovated residential occupancies are required to have smoke detectors that are hard wired into the electrical system. Residents with 9-volt battery operated smoke detectors are encouraged to change their batteries at lease twice a year. Remember that hard-wired smoke detectors usually have a battery back-up in case of power failure, so you still need to check your battery.

Smoke detectors usually have a test button. You should use this test button at least monthly to make sure yours is working properly. If your smoke detector "chirps" intermittently, it is likely because you need to replace the battery. Smoke detectors have a life of approximately 10 years. You can contact us for more information on smoke detectors by calling (303) 567-4342 or e-mail us at kb@clearcreekfire.com. You can get more information about which smoke detector is best by visiting the Consumer Reports web site at www.consumerreports.org (you must subscribe to get the info, but it’s pretty cheap).

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When I Call for an Ambulance, Why Does the Fire Department Come Also?

Clear Creek Ambulance, which is a completely separate agency, responds from one of three stations located in Idaho Springs, Georgetown, and Dumont. Since nearly all CCFA firefighters can perform at least basic life support, we can typically arrive on-scene before the ambulance and begin basic life support procedures. If the emergency is a motor vehicle accident, heart attack, or other life-threatening emergency, it typically takes more that the two ambulance crew members who accompany the ambulance to perform all of the necessary tasks. The firefighters can assist the ambulance crew with traffic control and life-saving measures. The bottom line is we, along with the ambulance, do whatever it takes to get you the help you need in as little time as possible.

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Can You Tell Me More About Fire Safety Inspections?

The Clear Creek Fire Authority and all of the participating jurisdictions require, under the Uniform Fire Code, that all occupancies, other than one and two family residences, be inspected frequently for fire safety conformance with the UFC. There are no fees associated with initial inspections, however, there are fees for businesses or property owners that do not correct code violations identified during the initial inspection.

Fire inspections are typically performed by our paid Fire Inspector, but may also be performed by on-duty volunteer firefighters who remain available for emergency responses. They look for hazards such as obstructed exits, substandard electrical wiring and equipment, unsafe storage practices, and fire protection systems that are out of order. The inspection personnel, who are there to help you ensure your occupancy is safe, also educate the building or business owner about fire safety and proper emergency response procedures.

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Is a CO Detector for My House a Good Idea?

YES!! Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors are inexpensive and have saved many lives since their introduction. They detect CO emanating from any source within your house resulting from the incomplete combustion of fuel (natural gas, propane, wood, etc.). You should purchase at least one. It is ideal to place them in hallways and sleeping areas. There are a number to chose from, although Consumer Reports has recommended that you purchase a "plug-in" type as opposed to a battery operated unit. Consumer Reports recommended Nighthawk 2000 (about $40) as a "best buy". To see the latest information regarding CO detectors, check out the Consumer Reports website at www.consumerreports.org.

If your alarm goes off and you’re experiencing any o the symptoms of CO poisoning such as dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue, leave your house immediately, taking your pets with you and dial 9-1-1 for the Fire Department. If your alarm goes off and you do not experience these symptoms, call 9-1-1 and the Fire Department will come out to investigate it for you.

 

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