Leaving A Campfire Could Soon Mean Jail Time
Colorado lawmakers look to crack down on campfires.
If you're camping, managing your campfire is priority number one. There is nothing more important. Currently, leaving a campfire unattended is a petty offense. The penalty is just a $50 fine.
When you think about the possible damage a wildfire can cause it seems to me that the current punishment doesn't fit the crime. The monetary cost to fight a wildfire, the potential loss of life and property merits an increase in the punishment for those that would leave a campfire unattended.
The proposed bill ups the penalty to a Class 3 misdemeanor. That offense would mean a $750 fine, six months in jail, or both. Due to the Colorado legislators bipartisan support, the bill is expected to pass and be on the governor's desk within days.
The hope is the increased punishment will help remind campers to think twice and double check to make sure the fire is out before heading home. It's a fact that two out of every three wildfires are started by humans. And as Smokey Bear himself reminds us "Only you can prevent forest fires."