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Abandoned Campfires Increasing on the Gila National Forest

Reserve, NM; April 5, 2018 – For Immediate Release – The Reserve Ranger District would like to remind visitors to always practice campfire safety.  The district has responded to three abandoned campfires in the last week.  One fire grew to be 15 acres before being suppressed.  This time of year, the weather is often warm and windy and with the lack of winter moisture, unattended camp fires can easily escape. The forest has seen an increase in visitor use from shed hunters, and anticipate more visitors with turkey hunts starting this weekend.  The Gila National Forest would like to remind visitors to always practice campfire safety.

Follow these guidelines and you will keep your Forest and public lands safer:

  • Clear all flammable material away from the fire for a minimum of five (5) feet in all directions

  • Make a fire only if you have a shovel and sufficient water to put it out

  • Never leave your campfire unattended and put it out at night

  • Avoid making a campfire during the windy part of the day

  • To make sure your campfire is out, drown with water and stir with dirt, making sure all burned materials are extinguished. Put your hand in the ashes to make sure it’s cold. If it’s too hot to touch it needs more water and more stirring.

  • To report a fire on the forest, please call Silver City Interagency Dispatch at 575-538-5371.

Every campfire should be put DEAD OUT before leaving it.

Remember, Smokey says “Only you can prevent wildfires” For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila or join the conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GilaNForest/ or follow us on Twitter @GilaNForest.