Sunshine and blue skies make this time of year perfect for camping and outdoor activities. As Memorial weekend approaches, CAL FIRE reminds all Californians to be extra careful in the outdoors.
Following one of the driest winters on record, officials have already seen a drastic increase in fires. In an average year, by late May CAL FIRE responds to approximately 850 wildfires. Already this year, CAL FIRE has responded to nearly 1,600 wildfires – a dramatic increase from the 1,050 wildfires that occurred by the end of May, 2012.
CAL FIRE urges everyone to observe these important tips this holiday:
• Obtain a campfire permit.
• Check for local fire restrictions.
• Clear away grass, leaves and other debris within a 10-foot perimeter of any campfire.
• Assign a responsible person to be in attendance at all times.
• Ensure all campfires are completely extinguished before leaving.
• When barbecuing, never leave the grill unattended.
High temperatures have caused California’s waterways to run high. Those who enjoy cooling off in local rivers should be aware of the risk. Even the strongest of swimmers can be caught off guard by strong currents or cold water. Drownings tend to spike on Memorial weekend. Under local agreements, CAL FIRE responds to hundreds of water rescues across the state each year. The following tips can save your life:
In the water
• Always wear a life jacket.
• Children should always be supervised by a responsible adult.
• Never swim alone.
• Drinking and swimming is just as dangerous and drinking and driving.
For more ways to be safe during Memorial weekend, visit the CAL FIRE website at www.fire.ca.gov.