JACKSON, Wyo. — It may be cooler outside, but the potential for “explosive wildfire” still exists.
So says Bridger-Teton National Forest, who put out a notice yesterday advising BTNF visitors, “and particularly campers and hunters,” to stay diligent about campfire safety.
“The number one culprit of human-caused fires that require the attention of the Forest Service fire crews is escaped campfires which are not fully extinguished,” the announcement said.
Campfires should be thoroughly extinguished before being left unattended. That means cold to the touch. This is effectively done by stirring coals and other burned materials with water until cool. Even small warming fires should be dead out before you leave the site. BTNF has found 153 abandoned campfires so far this summer.
Five new small fires have started in the past week alone in the National Forest. One of them is confirmed to be human-caused, three are under investigation.
National Forest visitors should also pay attention to other sources that could spark a wildfire like discarded cigarettes or mufflers on vehicles parked in dry grass.
Additional fire safety messages from the U.S. Forest Service to Forest recreationists are below. Hunters, campers, and other public land users need to follow basic fire safety rules:
- Scrape back dead grass and forest materials from your campfire site.
- Keep your campfire small and under control; make it only as big as you need it.
- Keep a shovel and a water container nearby to douse escaped embers.
- Do not park vehicles in tall dry grass, since hot tailpipes can cause fine fuels to catch on fire.
- Remember that any ignition – cigarettes, campfires, gunfire, vehicles – could be the cause of a wildland fire, as grass and other vegetation is dry and extremely flammable.
- Always follow current fire restrictions.
- Fireworks are not allowed on federal lands.
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