Preventing Wildfires on Public Lands

Public Land Agencies Offer Friendly Reminders on Best Practices for Preventing Wildfires

Montrose, Colorado, June 28, 2019 – Summertime out on your public lands can be loads of fun if you practice the right safety measures. The BLM Gunnison, Uncompahgre and Tres Rios Field Offices; DFPC; Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests would like to provide a few helpful reminders and tips for best practices to help prevent wildfires while recreating on public lands.

Recreational users on public lands should keep a few things in mind that can help prevent an unintentional wildfire. To reduce wildfire risk, please consider the following:

  • Practicing proper vehicle maintenance; ensuring that tow chains are secured and a vehicle has no dragging parts, check tire pressure, and properly maintaining your breaks.

  • Park your vehicles/trailers and off-highway vehicles away from dry grass or brush.

  • When target shooting taking a few simple precautions can prevent devastating results: place your target on dirt or gravel, switch to paper targets, avoid incendiary targets and exploding ammunition, bring a shovel and fire extinguisher, and report any fires by calling 911.

  • Fireworks are never permitted on public lands.

  • If you are camping and build a fire outside a designated fire ring make sure you clear the area of debris including, grasses and small vegetation. Clear your fire site perimeter approximately 10 feet in diameter and use rocks or a fire pan to contain your fire. Never leave a fire unattended and make sure that you completely put out your campfire before leaving your campsite. Practice the drown, stir, feel method when extinguishing your campfire. Use water or dirt to douse the fire, stir the ashes and if necessary continue to add water or dirt until the fire is smothered.

  • When smoking, always dispose of cigarette debris in an ashtray.

  • Avoid driving and parking in tall grasses. Exhaust particles and hot exhaust pipes can start grass fires. Even chains dragging along the ground, such as those on ATVs, can spark fires.

Even an accidental fire start can result in the individual being held responsible including fines and/or jail time. Visit One Less Spark (http://www.readyforwildfire.org/Prevent-Wildfire /) for more great tips on how to prevent wildfire and be prepared for fire season. To learn more about campfire safety visit www.smokeybear.com.

Keep yourself safe while recreating outdoors by checking the weather before you go, taking the appropriate equipment including maps, carrying enough water, letting someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back, and utilizing suggested or required safety equipment. Local fire restriction information can be found online at: https://www.westslopefireinfo.com/