Public Land Agencies Offer Friendly Wildfire Safety Reminder for Labor Day Holiday
Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility
Montrose, Colorado, Aug. 31, 2021 – As we celebrate Labor Day and the start of hunting season, public land agencies encourage the public to be extra careful with campfires where they are allowed and combustible materials to prevent human-caused fires. Know before you go and check https://www.westslopefireinfo.com/ for local fire restriction information before you head out for the holiday weekend.
Western Colorado has been experiencing drought conditions this year producing a high fire danger rating and lower fuel moisture measurements. Public land agencies ask that you be extra careful as fire danger has steadily increased.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Gunnison, Tres Rios and Uncompahgre field offices; Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC); National Park Service (NPS), Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area and the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests would like to provide a few helpful tips and reminders for best practices to help prevent an unintentional wildfire while recreating and hunting on public lands this Labor Day weekend.
To reduce wildfire risk, please consider the following:
- Practice proper vehicle maintenance; ensuring that tow chains are secure and the vehicle has no dragging parts, checking tire pressure and properly maintaining your brakes. Even chains dragging along the ground, such as those on ATVs, can spark fires.
- When target shooting where permitted, taking a few simple precautions can prevent devastating results: place your target on dirt or gravel, switch to paper targets, avoid incendiary targets and exploding ammunition, bring a shovel and fire extinguisher and report any fires by calling 911.
- Fireworks are never permitted on public lands.
- Never leave a fire unattended and make sure that you completely put out your campfire before leaving your campsite. Practice the drown, stir, feel method when extinguishing your campfire. Use water or dirt to douse the fire, stir the ashes and if necessary, continue to add water or dirt until the fire is smothered.
- When smoking, always dispose of cigarette debris in an ashtray.
- Avoid driving and parking in tall grasses. Exhaust particles and hot exhaust pipes can start grass fires. Park your vehicles/trailers and off-highway vehicles away from dry grass or brush.
Even an accidental fire start can result in the individual being held responsible including fines and/or jail time. Visit One Less Spark (http://www.readyforwildfire.org/Prevent-Wildfire/) for more great tips on how to prevent wildfire and be prepared for fire season. To learn more about campfire safety visit www.smokeybear.com.
Before heading outside, be sure to “Know Before You Go!” Helpful information about planning your trip can be found on the “Know Before You Go” webpage. Regulations vary between land management agencies, so learn what is permitted before you use fire.
Adhere to the Leave No Trace Principles of outdoor ethics to leave your favorite spot ready for the next visitors to enjoy. Keep yourself safe while recreating outdoors by checking the weather before you go, taking the appropriate equipment including maps, carrying enough food and water, letting someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back, and utilizing suggested or required safety equipment.