It’s the 4th of July weekend, let’s celebrate safely and responsibly!
Visiting our public lands is a great way to celebrate. Please remember that it is illegal to discharge fireworks on or onto DNR-protected lands. To keep yourself, loved ones, and our public lands safe this 4th of July weekend, please follow these safety steps:
- It is ALWAYS illegal to light fireworks or use incendiary ammunition or exploding targets on DNR-protected lands.
- Do not park vehicles in dry, grassy areas as residual heat from exhaust systems can ignite the dry grass.
- Be sure recreation vehicles have operating spark arrestors.
- Be aware of burn restrictions. Only build campfires when and where allowed.
- Rethink any open flames if winds start to pick up – wind creates conditions that make fire difficult to put out.
- Never leave a campfire unattended and be sure it is put out before leaving the area.
- Know the current wildfire risk in your county, destination, or area you may be working in.
Did you know that 85 percent of Washington’s wildfires are caused by people? The Eagle Creek fire in 2017 is an example of what can occur. The fire was a destructive wildfire in the Columbia River Gorge in the states of Oregon and Washington, and destroyed 47,000 acres of land. The fire started when a 15-year-old boy ignited fireworks during a burn ban. Knowing these tips and other tips to prevent a wildfire is always a good idea. Whether it is a firework, cigarette, or anything that creates a spark, it is important to remember “One less spark, one less wildfire.”
Be careful and be thoughtful of COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing. There is an extra strain on the medical community at this time. Everyone needs to be careful – we all play a role in preventing wildfires. It’s not just that we have to battle wildfires, but we also have to battle risk of exposure to the virus at every wildfire our firefighters go out on.
If you see smoke or fire, call 911. Even if you’re unsure, call anyway. A false alarm is better than a wildfire.