Bridger-Teton cautions recreationists about unattended campfires
by Bridger-Teton National Forest
September 17, 2008
All too often people donít intend to start wildfires, yet they leave campfires unattended or donít completely put them out. Employees with the Bridger-Teton National Forest are visiting campsites throughout the area and are helping to educate campers about how to responsibly tend to campfires. During recent patrols a number of smoldering campfires were found unattended. These campfires could have been potentially disastrous.
"Leaving a campfire burning on the National Forest is a punishable offense," said Forest Supervisor Kniffy Hamilton. Violators could face a fine and/or prison, and anyone responsible for starting a wildfire may be held responsible for the cost of putting it out.
"A cold morning doesnít mean fires canít spread quickly," said Hamilton. Visitors to the Bridger-Teton are reminded to never walk away from a smoldering campfire.
The best way to make sure your fire is completely out and cold to the touch is to mix water, earth, and embers and stir them until they're cool enough to hold in your bare hand. Anyone lighting a campfire on the Forest should have a bucket of water and a shovel nearby.
Although an area may appear green, the danger for fire still exists. The reports of unattended campfires have Fire Management Officer Rod Dykehouse reiterating a fire safety message for all Forest users. "Even though we have had a relatively mellow fire season, we still need to be careful with campfires on the Forest" said Dykehouse.
Dykehouse reminds visitors to the Bridger-Teton to build their campfires in a safe spot, at to also be careful with their vehicles, as hot catalytic converters can also touch off a blaze in the drier fuels that are so abundant around the Forest.