New Ordinance Bans Outdoor Fires in Vacation Home Rentals and Bed and Breakfasts | Spotlight on the Estes Valley

Ordinance mitigates fire risk and aligns with Larimer County code

Estes Park City Council unanimously passed an emergency ordinance that supports fire mitigation efforts in the Estes Valley and responds to the high percentage of fire calls in the Estes Valley for short term rentals. The order takes effect immediately.

The ordinance amends Estes Park Municipal Code Section 5.20.110 to add the following: Use of solid fuel burning appliances located outside of the fully enclosed portion of the residential structure on vacation homes and bed and breakfast inns, in the absence of the presence and supervision of the owner or designated local representative, is prohibited. Solid fuel appliances include, but are not limited to, fire pits, fire pits, portable fire pits, portable fire pits, briquette or pellet grills or similar devices. The use of outdoor gas appliances is not affected by this paragraph, but may be regulated by other state and local laws, such as city ordinances and adopted fire code.

The full text of the order is available at The order takes effect immediately and there will be zero tolerance for violations. The city’s code enforcement officer will issue a ticket immediately for any violation. Additionally, a violation could impact the owner’s ability to retain a business license to operate a vacation home or bed and breakfast if the issue is not immediately addressed, such as by removing a fireplace or other prohibited appliance. of the property.

Tourism is a major economy for Estes Park, and agencies are committed to working together to ensure that those who visit this beautiful community can do so safely. According to the Estes Valley Fire Protection District, over the past five years, about 60 percent of structural fires in the Valley have occurred in vacation homes. The ordinance aligns with fire mitigation regulations already in place in the unincorporated Estes Valley, under the Larimer County Land Use Code. The ordinance applies to transient tenants of holiday home and bed and breakfast rentals. It does not apply to owners using their own properties.

For more information, visit For fire mitigation resources from the Estes Valley Fire Protection District, please visit

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