“A lot of campers we talk to don’t realize just how volatile the situation is in these tinder-dry conditions,” said Mike Cenci, WDFW deputy chief of enforcement. “One spark can ignite a fire that can quickly race out of control.”
According to wildfire experts at DNR, people cause 85 percent of Washington’s wildfires. Common causes include unattended campfires, fireworks, hot vehicle mufflers on dry grass, target shooting and careless disposal of cigarettes.
“Following fire restrictions and exercising common sense are the most important steps people can take to preserve public recreation lands and wildlife habitat,” Sprague said.
DNR offers six safety tips for anyone recreating outdoors:
- Never start a campfire when wind is strong or local fire danger is high
- Use a screen over and around a campfire to minimize sparks
- Keep fires under three feet high and wide
- Keep five gallons of water and a shovel nearby
- Never leave fires unattended
- Extinguish a fire by drowning it thoroughly with water, stirring until cold, and then drowning it again.
DNR’s summer burn ban is posted at http://goo.gl/5jykD. Local fire-danger levels and burn-ban information is available athttp://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/firedanger/BurnRisk.aspx.
To report a wildfire or untended campfire, call 1(800) 562-6010 or 911.