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Hunters urged to use caution while dealing with open flames

By KAREN BASSO
Sports writer

While most wildfires are caused by dry lightning in the western states, an alarming number of fires were ignited by careless human acts this year. Although fire conditions have improved with the assistance of precipitation, the dangers still remain. With this in mind, hunters are urged to take precautions and be aware of restrictions and closures.

The following information may be helpful to those who will rely on campfires and other open flames during the annual deer hunt.

Since temperatures have fallen drastically, it is important for outdoorsmen to stay warm while participating in the hunt. Therefore, campfires will light up the night as they provide warmth and comfort to the dedicated hunters.

To ensure that a wild fire does not break out during the deer hunting season, the following precautions should be made for a safe campfire.

•Clear campfire sight down to bare soil.

•Circle the pit with rocks.

•Build campfires away from overhanging branches, steep slopes, dry grass, and leaves.

•Keep a bucket of water and a shovel nearby.

•Never leave a campfire unattended.

•When putting out a campfire, drown the fire, stir it, and drown it again.

•Always have an adult around to supervise outdoor cooking.

•Be careful with gas lanterns, barbecues, gas stoves, and anything that can be a source of ignition for a wildfire.

Even though precipitation has aided with lowering the fire dangers, dry grass still remains. Always remember the following fire safety tips while visiting public lands.

•Never park a vehicle on dry grass.

•Never throw a lighted cigarette out the window of a vehicle.

•Grease trailer wheels, check tires and ensure safety chains are not touching the ground.

•Avoid driving through tall grass.

•Carry a shovel in the vehicle.

•Be sure that no sparks from chainsaws land on dry grass. If so, make sure that they are completely out before leaving the area.

Autumn weather not only brings cooler temperatures, but it also brings relief from the drastic fire dangers that usually plagues the local area. Despite this fact, hunters are encouraged to use caution while participating in the annual hunt. After all, wild fires can start at any time of year.





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