Camping fire safety tips for Fourth of July weekend

Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 11:30 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - All it takes is one spark in these very dry conditions to start a wildfire. These large fires that have burned hundreds of acres have raised major concerns for Nick Steuer, a Davis Creek Park Ranger. He said during such a busy weekend, understanding fire safety while camping is critical.

Upon arrival to your campground, Steuer said you should rake up any dry vegetation that can potentially catch on fire. When putting out a fire make sure you use water and not dirt until the ashes are cool to the touch. He said checking the weather before you leave can help determine what you need to bring.

“We have some thunderstorms in the forecast this week, so be prepared for that,” said Steuer. “What do you do in a thunderstorm when you are camping? You want to seek shelter either in your car or in your trailer.”

The Nevada Division of Forestry along with The Bureau of Land Management has issued restrictions. Taylor Chambers, Western Region Area Supervisor said campers are only allowed to use a portable stove with gas or pressurized liquid fluid.

“No open flames. No fireworks, no discharging of firearms or target practice or any of those things,” Chambers said.

A hot engine in dry vegetation is another common cause of fires, he said.

“Established roads are there for a reason. We want to protect the natural habitat and if you drive off the road there is a higher risk for a wildfire,” explained Chambers.

Ranger Nick said a shovel, bucket, and a first aid kit are a must on your list of things to bring. While many like to see the sky light up at night, Steuer made it very clear that fireworks are illegal in campgrounds.

He urged campers to arrive at their campsites with plenty of time in advance as the majority of parks have been completely booked for the weekend.

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