Do your part for public lands on the 4th of July

Release Date: Jul 1, 2022

Contact(s): Paul Robbins Jr.


KETCHIKAN, Alaska, July 1, 2022– As the Fourth of July approaches, fire officials on the Tongass National Forest remind visitors to Do Your Part to make minimal impacts on public lands. Please use Leave No Trace principles to leave your public lands as clean as you found them, and be safe with your firework celebrations to avoid injury and wildfires during this particularly hot and dry summer. As a reminder, fireworks are not permitted in developed recreation areas on the Tongass, nor in designated Wilderness Areas.  

Use these key tips to decrease wildfire risk: 

  • Fireworks should be detonated over water to avoid the incidental lighting of vegetation. 

  • If burning piles at home, be sure to choose an area that is clear of combustible materials and a good distance from nearby trees to prevent fire from spreading and always keep an eye on the fire. 

  • Always keep a close eye on campfires. Be sure campfires are on a soil or rock surface and not on muskeg. Keep campfires from turning into wildfires: 

  • In remote areas, find a place clear of nearby fuels such as overhanging branches, dry grass, or leaves. 

  • In developed areas, campfires should always be built in an established fire pit or within a metal or rock-ring. 

  • Drown all embers with a lot of water. When ready to leave, stir the coals and then drown them again. Repeat until the fire is DEAD out. If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave. 

  • Consider alternatives to a campfire, such as a portable camp stove. 

For more information on campfire safety, review Smokey Bear’s Campfire Safety Guide

For interviews and information to be used for publication, contact the Tongass Public Affairs Officer at 907-617-2063 or paul.robbins@usda.gov.  

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