May is National Wildfire Awareness Month
We may not live in an area that is most prevalent to having wildfires, but they can still happen in our area. There could be a brush fire that gets out of hand if conditions are too dry. There could be a farmer performing a prescribed burn to a field that gets too large or out of control. There could be a camper that doesn't extinguish a campfire properly before leaving a campsite. Any of these events has the potential to cause devastation to not only natural areas, but also communities. There are several ways we can help prevent wildfires.
1. Report unattended fires- If you ever notice a fire that is burning out of control or unattended, immediately call 911 or your local fire department. "See something, say something."
2. Extinguish fire pits and campfires when done- Use water or ashes to put out the flames. Keep tents and sleeping gear away from the fire. Loose kindling and branches around the campsite can also feed the flames. Keep the area clean and tidy to make sure there is nothing to catch fire from an errant spark.
3. Don't throw lit cigarettes out of your moving car- Never throw a lit cigarette, smoking materials, or matches out of your car or on the ground. many wildfires start by carelessly flicking a cigarette butt on the ground, especially during very dry conditions.
4. Use caution when using flammable liquids- Any flammable liquid can quickly ignite. When refilling stoves, lanterns, or heaters it should always be done outside and with extreme caution.
5. Pay attention to local ordinances for trash or leaf burning- Most areas have restrictions for when it's windy or very dry. Make sure to have a fire extinguisher with you when you burn trash.
6. Only use fireworks in clear areas with no woods nearby- Most people don't realize the danger in using sparklers or fireworks for holiday celebrations. These things should not be used unless in an open area with no flammable materials nearby.
By following preventions tips, you can help ensure that fires are not started or are extinguished before they become out of control.