Be fire safe by doing the following:
Before going hiking or camping, check with the forest, grassland or ranger district for fire restrictions or area closures.
Plan ahead and prepare — know your route, and tell a responsible adult where you are going and when you plan to return.
- Sign in at the trailhead.
- 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.
Don't forget what Smokey Bear says: Only YOU can prevent wildfires!
Remember: you are responsible for your safety and for the safety of those around you.