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Fire Safe Ways to Celebrate Independence Day

Fire Safe Ways to Celebrate Independence Day
July 01
07:18 2019

MOAB, Utah – Independence Day is a great day to celebrate America’s national public lands. These lands provide tangible goods and materials we rely on and use every day, as well as an amazing array of recreation opportunities. Help keep public lands healthy and beautiful by taking extra precautions to prevent wildfires when celebrating Independence Day this year.

Following a wet winter, many areas surrounding our local communities have high-density cheatgrass and other readily flammable vegetation. Cheatgrass fires spread rapidly and may be impossible to control with simple garden tools and hoses. Moab Interagency firefighters have responded to several human-caused fires in recent weeks that started as debris burns and escaped, spreading quickly to surrounding dry grasses and weeds. Current hot dry weather and winds have led the National Weather Service to issue red flag weather warnings for the area. These escaped fires are preventable and you can help protect lives and property in your communities and surrounding areas by taking simple precautions.

Here are some ways to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday and help keep families and the landscapes we treasure out of harm’s way.

  • Enjoy a family picnic at a scenic overlook.
  • Take a hike to your favorite shady spot or creek.
  • Paddle or raft the river or enjoy Ken’s Lake.
  • Go for a bike ride – earn your apple pie!
  • Enjoy a colorful sunrise or sunset.
  • Explore a local historic site, think about the early pioneers and American Indians who first explored and settled here.
  • Attend a city or county-sponsored fireworks show. In Moab, you can enjoy the Moab City fireworks display from several spots on nearby public lands.
  •    Be considerate of others and good land stewards, practice fire safety when outdoors.

Here are some simple reminders for preventing wildfires:

  • Possessing or using fireworks on public lands, in national forests, and in national parks is illegal and puts our natural resources at risk.
  • Keep campfires small and extinguish them all the way out, so embers are cold to the touch of your hand.
  • Notify local fire departments prior to undertaking burn operations. Before burning fields or debris piles establish control lines by clearing space around the perimeter of the area. Control lines should be wide enough to ensure flying embers don’t ignite nearby dry grass.
  • Dispose of cigarettes properly.
  • Stay on established roads and trails to avoid igniting dry vegetation with hot exhaust pipes or brakes.
  • Keep trailer and safety chains secure to avoid sparks caused by dragging metal on the ground.
  •    Alert authorities if you see any smoke or wildfire and always practice fire safety when outdoors. Contact 911 to report a wildfire.

These simple steps help prevent wildfires, keep families safe, protect communities and reduce unnecessary risk to firefighters. The Bureau of Land Management and the Moab Interagency Fire Center wish everyone a happy and safe Independence Day celebration.

For more information about fire restrictions, wildfires, fire prevention, and fuels treatment projects, please visit https://utahfireinfo.gov/.

Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact Lisa Bryant during normal business hours. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. Replies are provided during normal business hours.

 The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $96 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2017. These activities supported more than 468,000 jobs.

-BLM-

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