Fire Prevention Tips

Overview - Fire Prevention Tips

At the right time and under certain conditions, fire can be a tool and benefit the ecosystem. Then there's wildfire. Think before you act: a single spark can ignite dry grasses or pine needles that may start of a wildfire. Prevent Fires in Forests, National Parks and Other Public and Private Lands. 

Know Before You Go
To reduce the risk of fires caused by humans, many state and federal agencies have issued restrictions on public use. Some areas are closed until the fire danger decreases. Before planning a trip to a National Forest, National Park, or other public lands, call the toll-free Fire Restrictions Hotline at 1-877-864-6985, or click on USFS Region 3 Fire Information Restrictions page.

Restrictions vary; in most areas, all wood and charcoal fires are prohibited, but gas or propane campstoves are allowed. Other areas allow campfires only in established campgrounds with fire grills or pits. A few areas have banned all ignition sources, including campstoves. If you do build a legal campfire, never leave it unattended; be sure it is dead out and cold to the touch before you go.

Parking in tall grass or shrubs can start fires because the hot catalytic converter comes into contact with dry plant materials. Dry, windy conditions can turn smoldering grass into a wall of flames. Don't park where vegetation is touching the underside of your vehicle. Motorcycles and ATVs should have spark arresters.

Smoldering cigarettes can start fires hours after being dropped or thrown away. Never toss cigarettes out of cars. Be aware of smoking restrictions in Forests, National Parks, BLM, and other public lands. Smoking may be restricted to inside vehicles or in paved parking areas.

Chainsaws and other equipment
Sparks from chainsaws, welding torches, and other equipment can cause wildfires. Use spark arresters. Refrain from welding and all use of spark-creating machines when the fire danger is high. Follow forest restrictions and closures; chainsaws may not be allowed if the fire danger is extreme.

Fireworks are not allowed anywhere on National and State Forests, National Parks, and other public lands. Many local governments may also prohibit fireworks until the fire danger decreases.

More about the difference between a beneficial fire and wildfire ~ Smokey Bear Home Page

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