Have fun and stay fire safe this Memorial Day Weekend

It only takes one small spark to start a catastrophic wildfire.
It only takes one small spark to start a catastrophic wildfire.

Rain or shine, Washington State has already had more than 91 wildfires this year.

With studies showing that about 85 percent of Washington’s wildfires are human-caused, we all need to be aware and more cautious of our actions this Memorial Day weekend.

As you head out to picnic, camp, or hike in the outdoors, we want you to be safe from the risk of wildfire. Here are some steps to ensure a fire-safe holiday weekend:

  • Make sure all off-road vehicles have a properly functioning catalytic converter or approved spark arrester.
  • Only build campfires when and where authorized, and put them completely out; use plenty of water, and stir until the coals are cool to the touch.
  • Dispose of lit, smoking materials appropriately.
  • Remember that discharging fireworks is illegal on public lands.

If you decide to stay home for the three-day weekend and avoid the crowds, now is a good time to think about protecting your home from wildfire. For tips on creating a defensible space for your home and firefighters, go to www.firewise.org.

DNR encourages homeowners, land managers, first responders, developers, business owners, and civic leaders to focus on “Knowing Your Role” when it comes to preparing communities for wildfire. Visit the Fire Adapted Communities website (http://fireadapted.org/) to learn more about defensible space, fire-resilient building construction, and community wildfire prevention planning.

Remember, before you go out, know the burning restrictions in your area. Daily updates on burn restrictions are available at 1-800-323-BURN or the burn risk map website.

Parents, don’t forget that Smokey Bear has some fun activities to get your children interested in wildfire safety.

For updated information on wildfire incidents, follow DNR Fire Twitter.