Preventing human-caused wildfires

Although most of us have no intention of setting a fire, we can prevent them before they start. DNR Graphic Luis Prado
Although most of us have no intention of setting a fire, we can prevent them before they start. DNR Graphic by Luis Prado

Human activity and lighting strikes are the primary causes of our wildfires. We can’t control lightning strikes, but we can change our behavior in high-risk wildfire areas.

In 2015, Washington had 1,084 wildfires caused by humans and 457 wildfires caused by lightning strikes.

Outdoor activities increase in the spring and summer, which brings more people out onto our landscapes. You can help limit the possibility of causing a wildfire by being aware of common causes.

Outdoor debris burning

When burning outdoors, be sure you know the rules and never leave your pile unattended. Also, be sure to burn only natural vegetation.

Campfires

When building a campfire, be sure to keep safety in mind before, during and after you’ve built one. Simple steps can put your campfire completely out.

Equipment that can spark

Today, most equipment requires the use of a spark arrestor. This is especially important when riding an ORV or working on the landscape, such as using chain saws, wheat combines, or other agricultural equipment.

Parking

Be aware of where you park in the forest. Don’t park on dry, grassy areas. Your hot muffler can touch a blade of grass and spark a wildfire.

Fireworks

Fireworks can easily start fires.  Fireworks and exploding targets are not allowed on DNR-protected lands.

Want to learn more?  Please visit DNR’s Wildfire Prevention webpage to learn more about how to prevent wildfire.

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