Help prevent the spread of wildfires this holiday weekend
SPOKANE, Wash. – As Washingtonians make plans for many outdoor memories this holiday weekend, please remember to keep fire safety in mind. Due to the dry and hot conditions, there is an elevated risk of rapid and intense fire growth.
“Bureau of Land Management administered lands provide countless recreational opportunities for the public to enjoy and create lasting memories with family, friends and loved ones.” said Spokane District Manager Kurt Pindel. “Over this holiday weekend, we ask the public for their help in preventing human-caused fires by inspecting and maintaining your vehicles, adhering to fire prevention orders, and taking all precautions necessary to recreate safely.”
Over the past decade the Spokane District has responded to approximately 45 wildfires caused by fireworks. To prevent human-caused wildfires, fireworks, exploding targets, tracer rounds, sky lanterns, and shooting at metal targets are prohibited under the BLM OR/WA fire prevention order that went into effect May 12. Those who violate the prohibition can be fined up to $1,000 and/or receive a prison term of up to one year. In addition, those found responsible for starting wildland fires on federal lands can be billed for the cost of fire suppression.
If target shooting, be careful as this activity can create sparks. Always have a shovel, fire extinguisher and/or water on hand. Be proactive and take precautionary measures while shooting by clearing all flammable materials and rocks away from the target area.
Before departing on your holiday, make sure your vehicle and trailers are properly maintained by ensuring the safety chain is not dragging, wheel bearings are well greased, and tires are inflated to the proper level to help prevent a blown tire. Sparks can be thrown from a vehicle/trailer that is not properly maintained and can cause roadside fires without the knowledge of the driver.
Make sure campfires are dead out before leaving the site. If it’s not cool to the touch, it’s not dead out.
For updates on current fire restrictions and fire closures, go to www.BLM.GOV/orwafire. Stay informed of the current and predicted environmental conditions such as weather and drying vegetation through the National Interagency Coordination Center’s website at www.predictiveservices.nifc.gov/outlooks/.
This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.