FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2012
Wildfire prevention tips for Memorial Day weekend
Campfire safety still important in damp weather
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) urges everyone to help prevent wildland fires over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend and throughout the summer. While the weather remains on the cool side, the extended holiday weekend brings a higher-than-average number of visitors to the forests, raising wildfire concerns.
Help prevent wildfires by clearing debris around campfire pits and using a shovel and water to completely extinguish your campfire. Everyone is urged to be cautious and only build campfires in approved pits, where allowed. Firefighters have responded to 51 wildland fires so far this year.
“We want everyone to enjoy their Memorial Day weekend, while being safe and taking simple steps to prevent an accidental wildfire,” said Peter Goldmark, the Commissioner of Public Lands. “An escaped campfire can threaten lives, property, and drain scarce tax dollars.”
Before leaving home, always check to find out what the campfire restrictions are for the area you plan to visit.
If campfires are allowed; extinguish it properly before leaving:
- Never leave a campfire unattended at anytime.
- Drown fire thoroughly with water.
- Stir until cold.
- Drown fire again and stir.
- Never leave a campfire until it is completely out and cool to the touch.
For those people remaining at home, this is a good time to help reduce wildland fire hazards around the home and property by clearing excess debris, creating defensible space around the home, and following Firewise practices. For information about protecting homes and property from wildfire, visit www.firewise.org.
Also, a Discover Pass is required to access state lands managed by DNR, Washington State Parks, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. For more information visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov.
**Attention Radio Editors: Download audio Public Service Announcements on wildfire prevention from Commissioner Goldmark. Scripts also are available.
PSA for Memorial Day Weekend
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 1,000 employees trained and available to be dispatched to fires as needed. During fire season, this includes over 700 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 Education, 360-902-1122, firstname.lastname@example.org
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