As Oklahomans are enjoying camping and other outdoor summertime activities, officials with Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, want citizens to be aware of the potential for wildfires.
“We want people to enjoy their recreational activities,” said State Forester George Geissler, “but we urge everyone to be extra careful with outdoor activities like grilling, campfires and fireworks that can spark a wildfire.”
Weather predictions are calling for several days of triple digit temperatures and rainfall this year has been spotty. Pockets of the state are extremely dry with moderate to severe drought readings across a good part of Oklahoma.
“As Oklahoma is beginning to experience higher temperatures and lower humidity, the risk of wildfire increases,” said Geissler. “So far the occurrence of fires across the state has been low compared to other states and we want to do everything we can to keep it that way. We can’t control Mother Nature, but we can exercise extreme caution with outdoor activities that could spark a wildfire.”
Fireworks Safety Tips
- Use fireworks under close adult supervision in safe areas away from dry grass and brush.
- Keep fireworks away from homes and structures which can be accidentally ignited.
- Keep a hose, bucket of water and wet towels nearby to extinguish small fires.
- Dispose of used fireworks in a bucket of water.
- Use of fireworks is prohibited in many cities and all Oklahoma state parks.
Grilling and Campfire Safety Tips
- Consider using a propane stove or barbecue grill instead of an open fire when it’s dry and windy.
- Put barbecue grills over bare dirt or other fire resistant surfaces and away from dead grass and weeds. Never transport a barbecue pit or grill with live coals.
- Build campfires in open, level spots away from trees and overhanging branches and preferably in designated fire rings or fire receptacles.
- Never leave a campfire or cooking fire unattended. Completely extinguish the fire with water before leaving it. The ashes and coals are not safe to leave until they are cool enough to touch.
Currently there are no burn bans in place across Oklahoma. For the latest information, visit www.forestry.ok.gov or call 405-522-6158.
Posted on Thu, June 28, 2012
by Michelle Finch-Walker, 580-236-1021, firstname.lastname@example.org