Gilpin Commissioners implement county fire ban

County’s first COVID-19 patient reported

By Randy Beaudette

At the Thursday, April 9, 2020 Gilpin County Commissioners special online meeting, topics included the report of Gilpin County’s first COVID-19 patient and a County wide fire ban.  Madam Chair Gail Watson Commissioners Ron Engels and Linda Isenhart were all present along with County Manager Abel Montoya, County Attorney Brad Benning and Deputy Clerk Sharon Cates. Others from the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) joined in as needed.

COVID-19 Colorado Information

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) April 8, report, Colorado has 5,655 reported positive test results, 1,162 folks hospitalized, and 232 new cases. Nearly half of the new cases reported on the April 2 peak, and 193 COVID related deaths. Gilpin County reported the first case of COVID-19 on April 9. Colorado residents are encouraged to continue social distancing and wear face covering while out in public.

Clear Creek County Closed?

The question was raised of the potential loss of essential services due to the possibility of a Clear Creek County closure to non-residents as reported by KVDR Fox 31 News. In the report Fox News wrote” Clear Creek County’s Board of County Commissioners will meet on Thursday to discuss the possibility of closing the county to everyone but residents after the county has continued to see visitors coming for outdoor activities.” Gilpin County Commissioners responded that they have not heard of such a closure except a County road closure similar to what Gilpin County has implemented. Later in the Clear Creek County Special meeting, Emergency Manager Suzanne Boicca stated, “The report in the media is a miscommunication and there is no closure of Clear Creek County.” Clear Creek County Commissioners are still contemplating the closure of County roads to non-residents.

Treasurer’s Report

Gilpin County Treasurer Mary Lorenz reported that in the February 2020 report the County funds are up about $700,000 over last year fund total – an increase in taxes collected. Interest on late taxes and the date of full payment has been moved to April 30th by the Governor Polis’s executive order.

Comprehensive Plan Update

Community Planning Director Stephan Strohminger reported that the County’s Comprehensive Plan is nearing completion. Data inputs concerning historical information of properties is all in and will be forwarded to the Comprehensive Plan Task Group for a scheduled virtual meeting on April 14th.

Historical Preservation Commission Update

Community Planning Director Stephan Strohminger reported that the Historical Preservation Commission has not had any activity since last fall.

Gilpin County Fire Ban (Public Health Order 20-02)

The Gilpin County Board of Health enacted a County wide Stage 1 Fire ban to ease the strain on an already strained emergency response system. Stage 1 Temporary Fire Restrictions are effective April 8, 2020 at 12:00 pm.

The fire ban PROHIBITS:

  1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using an open fire, campfire or stove fire (including charcoal barbecues and grills) on public land;
  2. Use of all personal fireworks;
  3. Shooting or discharging firearms for recreational purposes, except for hunting with a valid and current hunting license on public land;
  4. Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials;
  5. Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE-approved spark arrester properly installed and in effective working order. A chemical, pressurized fire-extinguisher must be kept with the operator, and at least one round-point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches must be readily available for use;
  6. Welding or operating an acetylene or other open-flame torch, except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter, and with a chemical, pressurized fire-extinguisher immediately available for use; and
  7. Using an explosive.

For further information, please visit the Sheriff’s website or call the Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office at 303-582-1060, Monday through Friday from 8-5, or after hours call the Dispatch Office at 303-582-5500.

Approval of Minutes

Minutes from the April 7, 2020 special meeting was approved with no correction or amendments.

Executive Session

  Gilpin County Commissioners moved to recess into Executive Session pursuant to CRS 24-6-402(4)(b) to receive legal advice on policy matters.

Stay up-to-date

For up-to-date information and the next meeting refer to the Gilpin County website at

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