BLM urges fire safety in upcoming July Fourth holiday

The Bureau of Land Management is reminding area residents and visitors to be careful with fire and to leave fireworks at home when they celebrate Independence Day on public lands.

“After a wet spring and two years of plant growth, we have abundant grasses that are drying out quickly,” said Emily Ryan, manager of the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office. “These fine fuels can feed wildfires that spread rapidly under hot, dry and windy conditions. We urge everyone to keep fire safety top of mind when they visit the outdoors.”

Ryan stressed that it is illegal to possess or use fireworks, including “Safe and Sane” devices sold at fireworks stands, on public lands as well as national forests. In Lassen County, fireworks sold at fireworks stands can be used only within the Susanville city limits.

Outdoor recreation visitors should follow these safety tips

  • Get a free campfire permit from any Cal Fire, Forest Service or BLM office, or online. Keep campfires small, and completely extinguish them before leaving camp. The best method is to douse the fire with water, stir the ashes and douse again, ensuring that ashes are cold to the touch.
  • Know about fire restrictions in the area you plan to visit. Those exploring back country in vehicles must stay on established roads and trails and avoid driving over dry brush and grass that could be ignited by hot exhaust systems. Firewood cutters should operate chainsaws only in the cool morning hours and keep a shovel and fire extinguisher nearby. Chainsaws must be equipped with spark arresters in good working order. Operating hours may be restricted during seasonal fire restrictions.