Be Smart With Fire and Stay Safe This Labor Day Weekend

© 2017-Cottage Grove Sentinel

As you head out to enjoy your national forests this holiday weekend, the US Forest Service is asking for your help in preventing any additional human-caused fires. National forests within the Pacific Northwest have varying levels of fire restrictions; please take the time to know those restrictions before you leave.

Here are a few things you can do to help prevent wildfires:

  • Respect all closures and fire restrictions on your national forests. These are all in place for your safety and to protect resources in the current hot, dry conditions.
     
  • Do not park, idle, or drive your vehicle on dry grass. This can spark a wildfire. Also, ensure there are no loose chains or other parts of your vehicle that could drag on the ground. A loose safety chain or muffler striking a rock or pavement could throw sparks into dry vegetation.
  • Even when fires are allowed, you are encouraged to bring an alternative fuel source for cooking, such as a backpacking stove or propane burner.
  • If campfires are allowed and you choose to have one, never leave them unattended and ensure they are cool to the touch before you step away. Drown the campfire with water and stir charred material.

As we begin the month of September, there are 25 large wildfires affecting 367,320 acres in the Pacific Northwest. These incidents pose a threat to public and firefighter safety, travel corridors, and numerous communities, as well as to cultural and natural resources. 

The largest fire, the Chetco Bar Fire, is located west of Selma, Oregon and is currently over 138,212 acres. In northern Washington, the Diamond Creek Fire has spread into Canada and is currently at 58,794 acres.

Please help protect and support the over 9,600 personnel attached to these incidents by not adding any new human-caused wildfires this weekend.

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