Play it safe this summer and use best practices for preventing wildfires 

Smokey Bear is pictured in a 1981 US Forest Service poster in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters August 8, 2014. The iconic bear, who has been the figurehead of the U.S. Forest Service's anti-fire campaign, turns 70 years old August 8, 2014.
Courtesy U.S. Forest Service

Summertime out on your public lands can be loads of fun if you practice the right safety measures. The Southwest Colorado Wildfire Coalition, comprised of partnering members of the Durango Interagency Dispatch Zone, reminds us of some best practices for preventing wildfires: 

  • Fire restrictions are in place in counties and on public lands across Southwest Colorado. Visit the RockyMountain Area Coordination Center fire restrictions page and know before you go.
  • Possessing, discharging and/or using fireworks are prohibited public lands.
  • Practice proper vehicle maintenance, ensure that tow chains are secured and your vehicle has no dragging parts, check tire pressure, and properly maintain your brakes. 
  • When target shooting, a few simple precautions can prevent sparking a wildfire:place your target ondirt or gravel, switch to paper targets, avoid incendiary targets and exploding ammunition, bring a shovel and fire extinguisher. 
  • Avoid driving and parking in tall grasses. Exhaust particles and hot exhaust pipes can start grass fires.
  • Report any fires by calling 911.

As we approach the Fourth of July holiday weekend remember that fire danger is very high to extreme across Southwest Colorado. Visit One Less Spark for more great tips on how to prevent wildfire and be prepared for fire season. 

For more information on fire restrictions, please visit the Southwest Colorado Wildfire Coalition partner websites: Bureau of Land Management Tres Rios Field Office, San Juan National Forest, Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado Division of Fire Protection and Control, La Plata County, San Juan County, Montezuma County, and Archuleta County. 

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