Continued hot and dry weather has prompted fire managers on public lands in Central Oregon to raise the fire danger level to HIGH.
- All fine dead fuels ignite readily and fires start easily from any cause.
- Unattended brush and campfires are likely to escape.
- Fires spread rapidly and short-distance spotting is common.
- High intensity burning may develop on slopes, or in concentrations of fine fuel.
- Fires may become serious and their control difficult unless they are hit hard and fast while small.
Remember that on public lands, abandoned campfires are the number one source of human-caused wildfires. Most of these campfires stay small and are easy for firefighters to put out, but it only takes one to threaten lives, destroy property and change a beautiful area forever. Here are some simple steps to properly build and put out a campfire:
START IT RIGHT
- Make sure it’s legal to have a campfire!
- Keep your fire small and manageable
- Keep your fire contained inside a fire ring or clear an area and build your own ring
- NEVER leave your campfire unattended – even if you’re just leaving for a few hours
- Have a shovel and water available
- Keep your firewood stored at least 10 feet away from your ring
STOP IT RIGHT
- Slowly add water to put out all flames
- Stir, scrape and separate coals
- Add water until the steaming stops
- Feel for heat using the back of your hand over the coals.
- Continue to add water and stir until no heat remains
Whether accidental or intentional, people start wildfires every year in central Oregon. These wildfires cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to suppress and endanger lives and our natural resources. Let’s all do our part to protect these places we live by being diligent with our ignitions and leaving all fireworks at home.