Last week I was walking in the woods to clear my thoughts when I happened on a still-smoldering campfire near some dry brush and low hanging tree branches. Not only was there smoke but the campfire coals were still hot to my paws. I got a bucket of water and doused the campfire, stirred the soggy ashes around and drowned it again until there was no smoke or hot ash. It was out cold to the touch.
It took less than 10 minutes to handle that campfire properly. Why didn't someone else take the time to do that? Some folks may just need a friendly reminder about the big consequences of small actions (or inactions).
Since October is #FirePreventionMonth, I'd like to ask you to take one small action to help prevent wildfires. I'm not asking you to stop lightning -- nobody can do that! I'm asking you to step in and help prevent human caused wildfires, especially since nearly 9 out of 10 wildfires are caused by humans.
- Build a campfire or bbq pit the proper way, making sure there aren't any overhanging branches and have water on hand.
- When it's time to put your fire out, make sure it's drowned and stirred out cold.
- Before you burn debris, check with your state forestry agency or local fire department to see if you need a permit or if there is a ban due to weather conditions.
- Maintain your equipment to help prevent a stray spark.
- If you use tow chains on your car or truck make sure they aren't dragging on the ground, which can also spark a wildfire.
- If you see someone being unsafe with fire either let them know you're concerned or let an authority figure know.
- If you smoke, don't throw your lit cigarettes on the ground or out the car window.
- Send a friend the link to my latest video where I took wildfire prevention to the city streets. No matter where you are you can help spread my wildfire prevention message.
- Or follow any of the other suggestions on my website and in my wildfire prevention pledge at www.smokeybear.com.
Thanks, friends. I couldn't do this without you. We should always be smart and careful with fire safety, and Fire Prevention Month serves as a great reminder. I'm just a bear blogging here with the hopes that you'll remember, only you can prevent wildfires.