Portland, Ore. – With hot, dry conditions in the forecast and an increase in visitors traveling for Labor Day, fire officials are asking for the public’s help in preventing human-caused wildfires.
“While this year’s fire season has been lighter compared to recent years, wildfire potential is still high in many areas and all it takes is one careless spark to start a wildfire,” said Darron Williams, Pacific Northwest Wildfire Coordinating Group Chair. “Please be safe and responsible with fire when visiting your public lands!”
Each year, fire officials see a spike in human-caused wildfires around the Fourth of July and Labor Day Weekend, most often from unattended campfires, fireworks, dragging tow chains, driving on dry grass, and dumping of hot ashes and BBQ coals.
So far this year, there have been 817 human-caused fires in Oregon and 806 in Washington.
Please remember these fire prevention tips when visiting public lands:
• Know before you go – Check online or call about any fire restrictions or closures before venturing out.
• Drown your campfire – Make sure your fire is “dead out” and cold to the touch before leaving your campsite or going to bed. Keep your campfire small and use a designated campfire ring when available.
• Leave the fireworks at home – Fireworks and exploding targets for recreational shooting are prohibited on public land.
• Don’t be the spark – Do not drive or park on dry grass. Hot exhaust pipes or sparks can start a fire.
• Check your chains – When pulling a trailer, be sure safety chains and other metal parts aren’t hanging from your vehicle as these can drag and cause sparks.
• Smoke responsibly – Follow all posted restrictions. Never discard cigarette butts on the ground or in vegetation. Fully extinguish cigarette butts before throwing them away.
Visit Smokey Bear’s website at www.smokeybear.com/en for other wildfire prevention tips.
The Pacific Northwest Wildfire Coordinating Group is established to provide a coordinated interagency approach to wildfire management in Oregon and Washington. PNWCG provides leadership in interface and wildland fire management for local, tribal, state and federal agencies and their constituents to enhance firefighter safety and protection of life, property, and natural resources.
PNWCG is comprised of USDA-Forest Service; USDI-Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service; Oregon Department of Forestry; Washington Department of Natural Resources; Washington Association of Fire Chiefs; The Oregon Fire Chiefs Association; The Oregon State Fire Marshal and the Washington State Fire Marshal.