Staying Fire Safe this Holiday Weekend

Staying Fire Safe this Holiday Weekend

03 September 2010

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USA — About 10 percent more people are expected to travel this Labor Day weekend than last year, says AAA. That means more people at local campgrounds this weekend.

For Jason Ferrell of Harrisburg, camping has become an annual family tradition that lasts from April through November. “Everybody just needs a break. It’s nice to get out. You meet some of the nicest people you’ve ever met when you’re out camping,” says Ferrell.

But while camping is filled with family fun, Ferrell keeps a close eye on his fire pit. “One spark could hit {a neighbor’s} camper and you know, disaster. You just got to be respectful of everyone around you, too,” he says.

The current fire danger is “low”, but the U.S. Forestry Service worries that come this weekend, that “low” will upgrade to “moderate”, which means special attention must be paid to outdoor Labor Day festivities.

“Folks out burning or if they have campfires out in the forest, it is possible to get that grass fire or that leaf little fire especially in the pine litter, this time of year,” says Shawnee Forest Fire Manager Jon Teutrine. His crews battle between 30 and 60 fires annually, but as the drought worsens this fall, so will the fire danger.

“Forest visitors will need to be vigilant with their campfires and monitor them, used approved camp fire rings and most importantly extinguish them when they’re done,” says Teutrine.

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