Proposed ordinance would restrict outdoor fires at vacation home rentals and B&Bs

Ordinance would mitigate fire risk and align with Larimer County code
The Estes Park Town Board will review a staff-proposed draft emergency ordinance that would support fire mitigation efforts in the Estes Valley and address the high percentage of fire calls within the Estes Valley for Vacation Home Rentals. The ordinance will be considered at the board’s July 12 meeting, at 7 p.m. in the Town Board Room of Town Hall, at 170 MacGregor Ave. Comments may be submitted by 12 p.m. July 12 using the Town Board Public Comment Form available via Complete meeting materials will be available by July 8 at
Tourism is a major economy for Estes Park, and agencies are committed to working together to ensure those visiting this beautiful community are able to do so safely. According to the Estes Valley Fire Protection District, in the last five years approximately 60 percent of structure fires in the valley occur at Vacation Home Rentals. The ordinance would align with fire mitigation regulations already in place in the unincorporated Estes Valley, within Larimer County’s Land Use Code. The ordinance would apply to transient renters of short-term vacation rentals and Bed and Breakfasts. It would not apply to owners using their own properties.

Fire Chief David Wolf submitted a letter of support for the proposed ordinance. He commented, “Estes Valley Fire strongly supports the proposed ordinance that would bring the Town of Estes Park into alignment with greater Larimer County, and our local Fire District on this highly consequential fire safety issue.”

The proposed language would amend section 5.20.110 of the Estes Park Municipal Code to add the following: Use of solid fuel burning appliances located outside the fully contained portion of the residential structure on vacation home and bed and breakfast inn properties, absent the presence and oversight of the property owner or designated local representative, is prohibited. Solid fuel burning appliances include but are not limited to fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, portable outdoor fireplaces, portable fire pits, briquette or pellet burning grills, or similar devices. Use of gas burning outdoor devices is not affected by this paragraph, but may be regulated by other state and local laws, such as the ordinances of the Town and the adopted fire code.
If adopted, the ordinance would take effect immediately, and there would be zero tolerance for violations. The Code Enforcement Officer would issue a ticket on the spot for any violation. Further, a violation could impact the property owner’s ability to maintain a business license to operate a vacation home or bed and breakfast if the issue is not immediately addressed, such as by removing a fire pit or other prohibited appliance from the property.

For more information on the Town Board’s upcoming meetings, visit For fire mitigation resources from Estes Valley Fire Protection District, please visit