Prevent wildfires on Memorial Day and all summer

May 28, 2011

By Staff

NEW — 8 a.m. May 28, 2011

The state Department of Natural Resources urges outdoors enthusiasts to help prevention wildfires during Memorial Day weekend and throughout the summer.

Though the weather remains on the cool side, the extended holiday weekend should attract a higher-than-average number of visitors to public forests.

Help prevent wildfires by clearing debris around campfire pits and using a shovel and water to completely extinguish campfires. The state urges people to be cautious and only build campfires in approved pits in acceptable areas.

Firefighters have responded to 51 wildfires so far in 2011.

“We want everyone to enjoy their Memorial Day weekend, while being safe and taking simple steps to prevent an accidental wildfire,” state Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark said in a statement. “An escaped campfire can threaten lives, property, and drain scarce tax dollars.”

Before leaving home, check to determine campfire restrictions. If a campfire is allowed, follow the proper steps to extinguish the blaze.

  • Never leave a campfire unattended.
  • Use water to drown a fire thoroughly.
  • Stir the ashes until cold.
  • Drown the fire again and stir.
  • Never leave a campfire until the blaze is completely out and cool to the touch.

For people remaining at home for the holiday, Memorial Day is a good time to help reduce wildfire hazards around homes and property by clearing excess debris, creating defensible space around homes and following Firewise practices.

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