Follow fire safety tips during Labor Day weekend

August 31, 2010

By Staff

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 31, 2010

Despite a cooler forecast for Labor Day weekend, the state Department of Natural Resources has reminded outdoors enthusiasts to follow the statewide burn ban in effect until Sept. 30.

During the ban, campfires can be lit — but only in approved fire pits in designated campgrounds. Campers cannot build their own fire pits as part of the ban.

The ban applies to all state forestlands, including Tiger Mountain State Forest near Issaquah.

“Please help us stop wildfire before it starts by putting campfires completely out,” state Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark said in a news release.

If campers decide to build a fire, the agency offers some suggestions:

  • Use a fire ring; do not create a new one.
  • Clear all vegetation away from the fire ring. Remove all flammable materials, such as needles, leaves and sticks.
  • Keep the campfire small.
  • Keep plenty of water and a shovel nearby for throwing dirt on the fire.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended.

Put out a campfire by drowning the flames in water, then mixing the ashes and embers with soil. Stir the embers to make sure everything gets wet. Scrape all partially burned sticks and logs to remove all hot embers.

Feel the coals, embers and any partially burned wood. Everything, including the rock fire ring, should feel cool to the touch. Move the rocks to check for burning embers underneath.

Then, add more water, stir, add more water and stir again. Use moist dirt if water is unavailable. Finally, check the campsite for possible sparks or embers.

Find daily updates on burn restrictions here or by calling 800-323-BURN. Find a map of fire precaution zones here.

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