Ceremonial Fires Inside Boulder

In early March 2018, the Boulder City Council passed an ordinance amending the fire code to allow community members to conduct ceremonial fires within the city. All ceremonial fires within the City of Boulder require a permit issued through Boulder Fire-Rescue. The requirements are:

  • Permit for ceremonial fire issued by the fire department.
  • The fire is contained in either a fire pit or a ceremonial “chantico.”
  • A water source is available at all times.
  • The fire is extinguished if winds exceeded 15 mph.
  • Fire adheres to state and county requirements for air quality and burn restrictions.

Learn more.

Ceremonies with Structures and Fires on Open Space

According to the 2002 agreement between the City of Boulder and the United Tribes of Colorado, eligible tribal members have pedestrian access to Open Space and Mountain Parks lands without prior permission and may erect temporary structures and use fire on Open Space and Mountain Parks lands and on Valmont Butte after notifying the Open Space and Mountain Parks Department. The existing agreement defines eligible tribal members as persons that meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Enrolled members of federally recognized tribes.
  • Sponsored individuals of federally recognized tribes who show an enrollment card.
  • Individuals or groups sponsored by a tribal branch of the Native American Church as long as a letter of sponsorship is provided on appropriate tribal or church letterhead.

Eligible tribal members interested in conducting ceremonies on city open space must submit a letter of request outlining the ceremonial activity, the number of people expected to attend, the duration of the activity, and how tribal members will address issues of safety, environmental hazards, and restoration of the use area. Letters need to be postmarked 15 days prior to the intended ceremony. The 15-day notice is in place to help city staff organize additional support for ceremonies, including providing reasonable fire protection services for any authorized tribal cultural use on city-managed land. To ensure a prompt response, the city requests that tribal members contact the Open Space and Mountain Parks Department at 303-441-3440.

Letters should be addressed to:
Director of Open Space & Mountain Parks Department
2520 55th St.
Boulder, CO 80301