Hot Tips: Fire Safety For Wildfire Season

From California to Colorado, wildfires are already taking a significant toll on local communities and the natural environment this season. While the summer is one of the best times for outdoor recreation, the dry conditions require that each person take extra care while in or near the wilderness.

As part of California's Wildfire Awareness Week (May 5-11), the US Forest Service put together a list of tips to help you stay safe and prevent forest fires.

Be especially careful with campfires

  • Make sure no flammable material is within a five-foot diameter of the fire
  • Make sure someone is responsible for the fire at all times
  • Only build campfires in designated areas
  • Use existing fire rings or pits, if available
  • Never leave the fire unattended
  • Do not light fires on windy days
  • Always have a shovel and 5-6 gallons of water to properly put out your fire. Drown the fire with water and stir in dirt, making sure all burned materials are extinguished. If the fire is truly out, the ground and burned materials should feel cool to the touch. 

Never throw cigarettes out the car window
Make sure to douse cigarettes with water if you need to throw them away outside

Take care of your car
Faulty catalytic converters or mufflers and dragged trailer chains and just a few ways your car, truck or RV could start a wildfire. Make sure to schedule regular maintenance to make sure your vehicle is in good shape for your next trip outdoors.

Keep up with your yard maintenance
People who live in the wildland urban interface should make sure they have 100 feet of defensible space around their homes. This can greatly reduce fire danger, cut back on the risk of spreading fires and provide space for firefighters who may need to access the area in case of an emergency.

For more information on how to prevent forest fires, click here. 

Via the USDA.