The Ochoco National Forest said its field rangers spent a lot of time Monday putting out multiple abandoned campfires. They want to remind everyone that we are now in fire season and that it’s vital to make sure campfires are full out before leaving them.
The Forest Service said on Facebook that one fire in particular still had flames coming from it when the rangers arrived. And while field rangers typically carry water to cool abandoned campfires, this one required an engine to be called in to put the fire and make sure it was cold to the touch when they left it.
“Our firefighters are already starting to pick up. lightning caused starts from recent storms. Let’s not get complacent just because we have full reservoirs and green grass,” the Forest Service said.
The Forest Service has these reminders about campfire safety:
- Before going hiking or camping, check with the forest, grassland or ranger district for fire restrictions or area closures.
- Use alternatives to campfires during periods of high fire danger, even if there are no restrictions. Nine out of 10 fires are caused by humans.
- If you do use a campfire, make sure it is fully extinguished before leaving the area — be sure it is cold to the touch.
- If you are using a portable stove, make sure the area is clear of grasses and other debris that may catch fire. Prevent stoves from tipping and starting a fire.
- Practice Leave No Trace principles — pack out cigarette butts and burned materials from your camping area.
- Beware of sudden changes in the weather or changing weather conditions. For example, if you see a thunderstorm approaching, consider leaving the area. Fires started by lightning strikes are not unusual.
- If you see smoke, fire, or suspicious activities, note the location as best you can and report it to authorities. Call the National Fire Information Center or 911.
- Do NOT attempt to contact suspicious people or try to put out a fire by yourself.
- Be careful of parking or driving your car or ATV in tall, dry, vegetation, such as grass. The hot underside of the vehicle can start a fire.