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Friday, June 30, 2017

Help prevent the spread of wildfires this holiday weekend

BOISE – Hot and dry weather is predicted for the upcoming holiday weekend, and firefighters are asking for your help to prevent human-caused wildfires from spreading in Idaho.  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) works to promote safety and reminds everyone that this summer there is an abundance of tall and thick grass, creating extreme burning conditions for the wildfire community.

“We are asking the public to be extremely vigilant when out recreating this holiday weekend, and to take all safety precautions to keep from igniting a wildfire,” said BLM Idaho State Fire Management Officer Michael Morcom.

On May 20, Idaho State Director Timothy Murphy issued a Fire Prevention Order making it a misdemeanor to carry, discharge or otherwise use fireworks on BLM-managed lands.  Violations of the order can result in fines and more severe penalties, and offenders who start wildfires can also be held liable for damage and suppression costs. The safest way to enjoy fireworks this holiday weekend is to attend a public display sponsored by your local community.

In addition to fireworks, the use of incendiary/tracer/steel-core ammunition and exploding targets are prohibited.  In general, please be proactive and take precautionary measures while shooting. Clear all flammable materials and rocks away from the target area, and be sure to have fire safety equipment  (shovel, fire extinguisher and/or water) on hand. Sparks from steel core/steel jacketed fragments have been found to cause vegetation fires as much as lead core/copper-jacketed and solid copper jackets fragments.

During the summer, Kongming lanterns, wish lanterns, sky candles, fire balloons and sky lanterns are used at a variety of celebrations. Although they are not specifically prohibited, they are a fire hazard when they come into contact with dry vegetation. 

Before you depart, 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 or trailer that is not properly maintained, potentially causing roadside fires without knowledge of the driver.

The devastating effects from an escaped campfire can last for many years, so please completely extinguish your campfire before you leave. Currently, there are no fire restrictions in effect but in the future please KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!

For more information on current area wildfires and fire prevention information visit www.idahofireinfo.com and follow @BLMIdahoFire on Twitter!