The Keep Oregon Green Association sent this release to news media on June 28, 2013.
Contacts: Mary Ellen Holly, 503-945-7499; Rod Nichols, 503-945-7425
The Keep Oregon Green Association is warning Oregonians to use extreme caution when visiting the forests during the this and the 4th of July weekend. The intense heat moving into our state is going to reduce the humidity and the fuel moistures, especially the grasses and 1-hour fuels (0-1/4"). Fires will ignite quickly and burn hot and fast as the heat continues.
Many Oregonians love the great outdoors, and no matter what the recreational activity, sitting around a campfire is one of the special times we all enjoy. In the last five years, however, 527 campfires built on state and private lands burned 1,115 acres and cost $1,593,375 to suppress. Abandoning or failure to put out campfires lead the human-causes of wildfires in Oregon. Here's what you can do to help:
Always call the local fire district to assure that fires are allowed where you're going to camp. If they are allowed, and you choose to camp in an undeveloped campground, here are a few suggestions to ensure that your campfires will be safe.
When selecting a site for a campfire, avoid areas near buildings, fallen trees, tree trunks, or low overhanging branches.
Scrape all leaves and litter away down to bare earth for at least five feet on all sides of the fire. Dig a pit in the center of this circle and surround it with rocks.
Build your campfire downwind and at a safe distance from your tent, never leave it unattended, and after you light it, thrown your match into the fire. If any sparks escape the campfire, have a shovel or rake handy to suppress them.
When it's time to leave the campfire and head to bed or back to town, make sure you put the campfire out!
Drown all embers, sticks, and coals, especially those that might have fallen under the rocks
Stir the coals to make sure all heat has been removed.
Drown the area again ; until the fire is DEAD OUT.
Please remember that wildfire prevention is your individual responsibility. Be alert to weather conditions, especially wind; and ALWAYS be careful with fire. Leave your fireworks home - they don't belong in the forests. By being responsible, we can all Keep Oregon Green and have a safe 4th of July weekend.