Arapahoe Sheriff hands down burn ban

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ARAPAHOE COUNTY | Following some record-high temperatures including a dry mid-winter weekend that saw the thermometer climb close to 70 degrees along some parts of the Front Range, the Arapahoe County sheriff’s office has issued a burn ban.

Citing “unseasonably dry conditions,” Sheriff David Walcher handed down the ban Monday morning.

“The open burning ban will remain in effect until such time as this order is formally rescinded or temporarily suspended by the Sheriff,” the statement from the sheriff’s office said.

The ban includes campfires at Cherry Creek State Park, outdoor fire pits and other flames. Gas and charcoal grilling is still allowed.

The sheriff’s office typically bans fires during the hot and dry summer months, but this year, because of a risk of wildfire, Walcher said he was handing it down in February.

According to data from Underground Weather (www.wunderground.com), based on measurements taken at Buckley Air Force Base in conjunction with the National Weather Service, Aurora has broken all-time temperature records twice so far in February: It reached 78 degrees on Feb. 10 and 72 degrees Feb. 16. The high of 64 degrees Feb. 15 tied the previous record, set in 2011.

According to The Denver Post, Denver broke its second record high of the month on Feb. 15, when temperatures reached 67 degrees, beating the previous record of 66 degrees set in 1986, according to the National Weather Service. That’s several degrees hotter than mid-February’s average highs that tend to hang around the mid to upper-40s, NWS spokesman Bob Kleyla told The Post.

The Post also reported that Feb. 10 was the warmest-ever February day in Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo, hitting 80 degrees at Denver International Airport.