Fire Safety: How You Can Help Prevent Forest Fires

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All around the world dry climates and improper care of forestry lead to acres upon acres of dangerous forest fires each year. Much of it is a natural occurrence, but others are dangerously caused by humans both purposely and accidentally.
From California to Australia and back across the globe to Brazil, fires rage each year. For fires that are preventable, we wanted to share some tips from trustworthy sources on how to be more careful, more conscientious and more meticulous on fire safety and preventing unwanted fire.
The National Park Service (NPS) has some advice on what to keep an eye out for:
Always be sure to check with public land management agencies for fire restrictions or area closures and don’t forget to check out current National Park Service alerts.
Ensure you pay attention to weather forecasts and changing weather conditions. Thunderstorms or continuing periods of dry weather could be warning signs.
If you’re making a campfire, the NPS wants you to make sure it’s fully extinguished before you leave the area or campground. One good rule of thumb is to make sure the wood is cold to the touch. In tandem with this, it should be obvious that any portable stoves/hot plates are operated in areas that are clear of grass or other brush that could easily catch fire. As well, cars and ATVs driven in tall, dry vegetation could start a fire from the hot undercarriage of the vehicle.
Of course, the NPS also recommends packing  up cigarette butts or any burned materials both for cleanliness and to ensure no fire hazards.
The U.S. Army recommendations to prevent fires includes some helpful advice for when camping in trailers or when otherwise using generators or other electrical or gas-powered campsite equipment. Ensure that only those qualified or familiar with electrical equipment work on or repair the units. Also, be sure not to use damaged electrical cords and do not ‘daisy chain cords’. What that means in layman terms is: don’t plug a cord into another cord, and so forth. This could overload electric outlets and cause a spark which not only will damage your equipment, but could start a fire.

It can take years for a forest to recover after an unnatural fire (creative commons)

To prevent fires in tents or when using space heaters overall, ensure the proper fuel is being used for equipment you have and remove any combustible items in the area. Whether this is a heater, generator or even a portable stove, always use precaution and double check.

Lastly, the U.S. Army recommends always having a fire escape plan to know exactly what to do if a fire erupts. Make sure you have operational fire extinguishers and a fire blanket. As well, if you have a trailer, make sure you have a smoke detector.

Finally, we’ll look to none other than the Boy Scouts of America (it’s in the name) for some lasting advice. The following is what is told to each and every scout, so if the kids can do it so can you:

Never create a flame in a tent. Even if there’s a vent, the safest measure is to not use it. This applies to candle lanterns, citronella coils and any other heating coils. One forgetful mind or accident can set everything ablaze. This applies to cooking in a tent especially; instead set up an overhead tarp as a dining area with the camp stove at least three feet away from where you are eating.

Also, store any flammable materials such as lighters, matches, fire starters and more outside of your tent in a secure box or bag. If you’re setting up a stove using butane, propane or naphtha, make sure to properly following the instruction manual while ensuring there are no leaks. You can test for leaks by using soapy water.

Have another resource we should take a look at? If you have more fire safety tips or even fire safety horror stories drop us a line and let us know.

For more resources and preparation for disasters such as forest fires, head to and take a look at how you can prepare for a worst-case scenario.

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