TWIN FALLS, Idaho – As you go outdoors for the holiday on Tuesday – or any other time during the summer – be mindful to do your part in helping to prevent wildfires.That's the message from the Bureau of Land management.

“We are asking the public to be extremely vigilant when out recreating … and to take all safety precautions to keep from igniting a wildfire,” said BLM Idaho State Fire Management Officer Michael Morcom.

Idaho State Director Timothy Murphy issued a Fire Prevention Order on May 20 making it a misdemeanor to carry, discharge or otherwise use fireworks on BLM-managed lands.

Violations can carry heavy penalties, including offenders who start wildfires being held liable for damage and suppression costs.

BLM says the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display sponsored by your local community. More from the agency:

In addition to fireworks, the use of incendiary/tracer/steel-core ammunition and exploding targets are prohibited.  In general, please be proactive and take precautionary measures while shooting. Clear all flammable materials and rocks away from the target area, and be sure to have fire safety equipment  (shovel, fire extinguisher and/or water) on hand. Sparks from steel core/steel jacketed fragments have been found to cause vegetation fires as much as lead core/copper-jacketed and solid copper jackets fragments.

During the summer, Kongming lanterns, wish lanterns, sky candles, fire balloons and sky lanterns are used at a variety of celebrations. Although they are not specifically prohibited, they are a fire hazard when they come into contact with dry vegetation

A fire west of Hollister is seen burning in this September 2016 file image. (Photo courtesy of the BLM)
A fire west of Hollister is seen burning in this September 2016 file image. (Photo courtesy of the BLM)

There are a few other things to keep in mind:

  • Before you leave a site, make sure your vehicle and trailers are properly maintained by ensuring the safety chain is not dragging, wheel bearings are well greased and tires are inflated to the proper level to help prevent a blown tire. Sparks can be thrown from a vehicle or trailer that is not properly maintained, potentially causing roadside fires without knowledge of the driver.
  • The devastating effects from an escaped campfire can last for many years, so please completely extinguish your campfire before you leave. Currently, there are no fire restrictions in effect but in the future please KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!

For more information on current area wildfires and fire prevention information, visit Idaho Fire Info.

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