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Fire Officials Stress Caution for July Fourth Holiday

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July 02, 2009 04:41PM
Northeast California fire officials are reminding area residents and visitors to be careful with fire and fireworks when they celebrate Independence Day.

“We’ve had cool spring weather, but conditions are starting to dry out,” said Jim Hedges, a co-manager of the Susanville Interagency Fire Center (SIFC). “In many areas, spring rains have resulted in a good crop of grass that can feed a wildfire when it dries out. People need to be extremely careful when camping, driving in the back country and cutting fire wood,” he said.

Hedges stressed that possession and use of all fireworks, including those approved by the State of California and sold at fireworks stands, are illegal in national forests, national parks and on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. County and city governments have various regulations regarding fireworks, and holiday revelers should be familiar with local laws before purchasing or using the devices.

Those planning camping trips should also follow these fire safety tips:
  • Keep campfires small, and completely extinguish them before leaving camp. The best method is to douse the fire with water, stir the ashes and douse again, making sure that all ashes are cold to the touch.
  • Charcoal should be soaked in water after use.
  • Smokers should light up only in areas cleared of all flammable debris. Cigarette butts should never be thrown from vehicle windows.
Those exploring the forests and back country in vehicles must stay on established roads and trails and avoid driving over dry brush and grass that could be ignited by hot exhaust systems. Firewood cutters should operate chainsaws only in the cool morning hours and keep a shovel and fire extinguisher nearby. Chainsaws must be equipped with spark arresters.

Information on current fire dangers is available from any office of the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, or CAL FIRE. Local fire departments also have information on fire dangers and restrictions, and local fireworks regulations.

Fire Officials Stress Caution for July Fourth Holiday

Rick940July 02, 2009 04:41PM

Re: Fire Officials Stress Caution for July Fourth Holiday

Rick1040July 02, 2009 06:16PM

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