Summer’s here! Have fun, be safe.

Washington has some of the best landscapes and outdoor activities in the world, and this weekend is an incredibly popular time to go out and enjoy them. But enjoying our great outdoors consciously is everyone’s responsibility.

A few simple considerations can ensure your weekend is fun and safe.

Memorial Day weekend represents the spiritual beginning of the summer for many of us and Washington state has no shortage of amazing outdoor opportunities. From off-roading in Sadie Creek, to mountain biking in BBQ Flats, to camping at Dragon Creek, Washington’s outdoors are a great place to spend the long weekend.

However, some outdoor activities can pose a risk to our public lands. Higher temperatures and drought conditions have increased the fire risk in Washington and nearly half the state is in a drought emergency. This year, DNR has already responded to more than 300 wildfire calls and about half of these fires have occurred in Western Washington. Most fires are human-caused and can be prevented by following these tips:

  • Don’t park on dry grassy areas. Residual heat from exhaust systems can ignite the dry grass.
  • Be sure recreation vehicles have operating spark arrestors or a catalytic converter.
  • Put out your campfire completely. Remember, if it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.
  • Be aware of burn restrictions. Only build campfires when and where authorized.
  • Don’t discharge fireworks, incendiary ammunition, or exploding targets. These activities are illegal on public lands, and you WILL be responsible for the cost of fighting the fire.
  • Dispose of your cigarettes responsibly. Partially lit cigarettes can spark fires.

When we all do our part, we can prevent unfortunate fire related incidents and preserve our public lands. For more fire safety tips, visit dnr.wa.gov/WildfirePrevention.

Staying in for the Weekend? Take Some Time and Prepare Your Home

Now is a good time to prepare for wildfire. Help reduce hazards around your home and property by clearing excess debris and eliminating dense or overgrown vegetation around your home. For more tips on how to prevent wildfire damage to your home, go to http://www.firewise.org.