Your Outdoor Skills: Wildfire Prevention
Dry conditions, a previous season moisture accumulation, wind, and other factors determine the chances of a wildfire starting.
Some areas that have dryer climates like the Rocky Mountains and the Southwest United States tend to be more prone to forest fires. Whereas the Northwoods, Ozarks, and the Appalachian Mountains tend not to worry about wildfires where rainfall is more prevalent. But, regardless of the location, it can only take one stray spark to or unattended campfire to cause a serious wildfire.
It is important to know various practices of wildfire prevention to make sure you do your part when it comes to helping prevent wildfires. Everyone has a responsibility to practice fire safety.
With wildfires already blazing in the Colorado and New Mexico Rockies, and other regions in strict fire restrictions, we put together a few tips for you so you can help reduce the likelihood of a wildfire during your adventure season.
Leave No Trace
Leave No Trace (LNT) practices help minimize the impact we have on wilderness areas, state parks, and national parks when we visit them. One of the principles of LNT is to minimize the impact of campfires. They recommend cooking with a camping stoves instead of over the fire. If you enjoy the ambiance of a campfire, wood burning stoves like the Littlbug Stoves give you the atmosphere of a campfire without the impact. Add the Fire Bowl accessory to practice LNT principles.
If you do decide to have a campfire, remember to use established fire rings, keep them small, and burn your fire down to the ashes. Use water to help the ashes cool. Once cold, scatter throughout the fire ring. Most importantly, never leave a campfire unattended.
Dirt or Water
Before you start making a fire, look up the proper way to distinguish a fire in the area you are in. This is especially important if you are traveling. Different regions require different practices for putting out a fire. Some allow sand or dirt as a fire deterrent, where others require water, and dispersing the ashes.
Sand or dirt is commonly used in wetter regions like the Southern U.S.A, Appalachians, or the Northwoods. In dryer climates like the Rocky Mountains, California, and the Southwest, using water is a required practice.
A good way to make sure your fire has been safely extinguished is to place your hand just above the fire’s ashes. If you feel any amount of heat, you need to stir in more sand or dirt, or pour more water on the fire. You know your fire is completely out and safe to leave once heat is no longer present.
Research Fire Restrictions
Before entering a wilderness area, going camping, or starting a fire in the backyard, always research if there are any fire restrictions in the area. You can do this by simply calling the local Forest Service office or looking it up online. It’s usually best to call first since the forest service has the most up to date information. In some wilderness areas, you might encounter restrictions based on time of day (due to factors such as windspeed). Littlbug Stoves give you the versatility of converting to alcohol when wood fires are prohibited.
Understanding the fire restrictions helps you avoid hefty fines and causing a wildfire. You can learn about the stages of fire restriction here.
When it comes to outdoor skills the more you bring along, the less you have to carry. Skills don't break and they're never left behind. They don’t leak, tear, and they don’t get wet!