Wildfires are sweeping across the lands of Colorado, New Mexico, and California. A tireless battle against the rising flames remains in effect. With already thousands acres sucked into this tragedy, along with evacuation safety in effect we need to keep our fire safety checklist in the front of our minds. In 2017 alone there were 63,546 fires caused by humans. This destroyed over 5 million acres of forest.
Here are some helpful safety and prevention tips:
- Never leave a fire unattended. Be sure that you put out your fire completely before turning in for the night.
- Be sure area is cleared of all dry debris that the fire could spread to.
- Know the weather conditions, be extra cautious if it is a windy day as embers could fly.
- Know the fire risk for your area. If your fire is in a very dry area the risk for wildfires increases substantially.
- Know if fires are permitted in your area.
- Do not ignite anything besides an appropriate sized campfire. That includes fireworks. Not sure if you’ve heard about the gorge fire in Oregon, but a kid was playing around with fireworks and the destruction of the forests in the Colombia River gorge was substantial and devastating. Don’t be that person.
- Be sure you aren’t hosting your fire underneath any trees, heat travels up, so be aware of all spatial surroundings.
- Don’t through the match used to light the flame to the ground. Dunk in water to confirm its out for good. Throwing a hot match onto the forest floor is a recipe for disaster.
- Be conscious of what you throw into your fire, avoid aerosol cans, they could explode causing hazardous conditions and uncontrolled spread of your fire.
- When extinguishing your fire, be sure to drown it with water, be sure all embers are no longer burning, a good measure would be to pour until there is no longer a sizzle from the source.
- For good measure once you’ve extinguished your fire, you can shovel dirt onto the fire source causing the fire to essentially suffocate. If you do not have water to extinguish this is an alternative measure to put out your fire.
- As Smokey the bear might say, “if its too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.
- If you’re ever in doubt it doesn’t hurt to call the park rangers and ask about conditions.
Click here for information on the current wildfires.