Forest Service Concerned About Campfires, Fireworks Ahead of 4th
Staff members with the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest are asking visitors to pay special attention to their campfires.
Forest Service firefighters were stretched thin recently when out of control campfires interfered with their response to an outbreak of lightning caused forest fires.
"The thing is we don't need any human caused fires to add to their work load," said DeMario. "So, we are just asking people, do not leave your campfire unattended. And make sure it's dead out before you leave."
Forest spokesperson Robin DeMario says campers need to do their part to keep public lands safe.
Forest Service crews were recently hit with nearly a dozen lighting cause fires.
Staff is reminding visitors to drown campfires it with water, stir it, drown it again, and repeat the process until the fire is out and cold to the touch.
People are asked to use bare hands to feel around the ashes and chunks of burned wood for any warmth that might still be there.
A standard U.S. Forest Service saying is: If a fire is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave.
In addition to campfire attentiveness, Okanogan Wenatchee forest staff are concerned about fireworks with the Fourth of July holiday approaching.
Large crowds are expected to flock into the forest on Tuesday, the date of the holiday.
DeMario says it's important to remember that fireworks are never allowed in the forest.
"I do know in the past that individuals have brought fireworks to the forest, and some fires have been ignited by fireworks," DeMario said. "So, again, just leave your fireworks at home. Don't bring them with you."
All fireworks, exploding targets, and other pyrotechnic devices are strictly prohibited in National Forests in Washington.
Possession of fireworks on forest grounds is illegal.