BLM urges fire safety during holiday weekend

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Fire safety tips …

The following is a list of tips from the Bureau of Land Management on how to minimize the risk of wildfires this holiday weekend:

• Know if fire restrictions are in place before traveling to another area and observe those restrictions.

• Make sure your campfire is “dead out” before leaving a campsite. Stir water and dirt into the coals until the coals are cool enough to touch with the back of your hand.

• Build campfires away from overhanging branches and pile wood away from the fire.

• Clear the area around a campfire of all flammable debris and keep fires small.

• Never leave a campfire unattended, even a small breeze can carry embers and ignite a wildfire.

With conditions expected to be ideal for wildfires, Bureau of Land Management officials Monday urged Northwest Colorado residents to practice caution when burning outdoors.

“Conditions this year may be as dry as they’ve ever been for the Memorial Day weekend kick-off of the summer outdoor recreation season,” officials stated in a news release. “This unseasonable dryness combined with an abundance of tall, dead vegetation from last year create conditions that will readily burn and carry fire if an ignition source, such as an ember from a campfire, is provided.”

The BLM also provided a list of fire safety tips aimed at helping reduce the chances of a wildfire this holiday weekend:

• Know if fire restrictions are in place before traveling to another area and observe those restrictions.

• Make sure your campfire is “dead out” before leaving a campsite. Stir water and dirt into the coals until the coals are cool enough to touch with the back of your hand.

• Build campfires away from overhanging branches and pile wood away from the fire.

• Clear the area around a campfire of all flammable debris and keep fires small.

• Never leave a campfire unattended — even a small breeze can carry embers and ignite a wildfire.

• Extinguish smoking materials completely in cleared areas free of vegetation and debris.

• Fireworks are not permitted on federal lands.

Currently, Jackson and Routt counties have implemented fire restrictions. As of now, there are no fire restrictions in effect for Moffat, Rio Blanco or Grand counties.

“Even if no fire restrictions are in place the need to be extremely careful is necessary because it is dry everywhere,” the release stated.

BLM officials urge residents and visitors to check with local sheriff’s departments, federal land management agencies or local emergency management units for current fire restriction details, according to the release.

A statewide listing of fire restrictions can be found at www.coemergency.com.

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