April 28, 2011
Wildfire Awareness Week is May 1 - 7
Focus on campfire safety
OLYMPIA – In recognition of Wildfire Awareness Week, May 1 – 7, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages everyone to be campfire safe. Remember, if it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.
A wet spring is good for growing trees, but can add to fuel levels, increasing the potential of wildfire during the hot summer months. Depending on conditions as summer progresses, campfires may be restricted or even banned in certain areas. Know the restrictions before heading out by logging onto http://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/firedanger/BurnRisk.aspx .
As a reminder from Smokey Bear, here are the guidelines for extinguishing campfires:
- Allow the wood to burn completely to ash, if possible
- Pour lots of water on the fire; drown all embers, not just the red ones
- Pour until hissing sound stops
- Stir the campfire ashes and embers with a shovel
- Scrape the sticks and logs to remove any embers
- Stir and make sure everything is wet and cold to the touch
- If you do not have water, use dirt. Mix enough dirt or sand with the embers; continue adding and stirring until all material is cool. Remember: do not bury the fire, as the fire will continue to smolder and could catch roots on fire that will eventually get to the surface and start a wildfire.
Stay connected during wildfire awareness week and wildfire season
DNR’s wildfire mission
Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, DNR is responsible for preventing and fighting wildfires on 12.7 million acres of private, state and tribal-owned forestlands. DNR is the state’s largest on-call fire department, with over a thousand employees trained and available to be dispatched to fires as needed. During fire season, this includes over seven hundred DNR employees who have other permanent jobs with the agency and about 375 seasonal workers. Additionally, Department of Correction inmates participate in the DNR Correctional Camps Program. DNR also participates in Washington’s coordinated interagency approach to firefighting.
Media Contact: Janet Pearce, Community Outreach and Environmental Education, 360-902-1122, firstname.lastname@example.org
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