Beware: High threat of wildfire this week in area forests

The U.S. Forest Service today announced there is a high threat of wildfire this week in the Nantahala, Pisgah, Uwharrie, and Croatan National Forests and encouraged visitors to help prevent wildfires. Dry conditions are increasing the chances of wildfire across North Carolina.

All campfires should be completely extinguished before leaving a campsite and never leave a campfire unattended. The following are additional tips for campers:

•Clear a 10-foot safety circle of all leaves, pine needles and flammable material.

• Allow the wood to burn completely to ash, if possible.

• Pour lots of water on the fire, drown ALL embers, not just the red ones.

• Pour until hissing sound stops.

• Stir the campfire ashes and embers with a shovel.

• The U.S. Forest Service is also asking residents to postpone burning debris this week. Debris burning is a major cause of wildfires in the South.

Lastly, there are general fire prevention tips that visitors can follow including:

• Don’t play with matches.

• Keep your cigarette butts in the car.

• Park vehicles so that the exhaust system does not come in contact with dry grass, weeds or leaves.

Visit the following sites for additional tips on preventing wildfires:

http://www.smokeybear.com/be-smart-outdoors.asp

http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r8/fire-aviation/prevention

http://www.fs.fed.us/fire/prev_ed/index.html


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