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Cal Fire Issues Camping Fire Safety Tips

With the approaching Fourth of July holiday, state fire officials are hoping the public is extra careful to avoid a preventable inferno.

For many, the Fourth of July signals the start of summer and time for fun family outings and vacations, especially camping.

However, with hot and dry conditions, summer is also the time for wildfires, Cal Fire officials warned in a press release issued Friday.

If left unattended and not properly extinguished, campfires can produce a wildfire, the release said.

Campfires can also be extremely dangerous for children, who should never be allowed to play around them or outdoor cooking appliances.

Devastating burn injuries are all too common when safety rules are not followed, the release noted.

In addition, fire officials said it is important to use flammable liquids (lighter fluid, kerosene, propane) and related appliances safely.

The agency reminded all campers and outdoor enthusiasts to keep the following safety tips in mind while enjoying the outdoors:

  • Obtain a campfire permit before starting any campfire.
  • Use only approved and established campgrounds and campfire rings.
  • Locate the campfire a safe distance away from tents, trees, or buildings.
  • Clear the area around your campfire down to soil for 5 feet in all directions.
  • Teach everyone “stop, drop, and roll.”
  • Use electric or battery lights in RVs.
  • When using a propane appliance, light a match before turning on the gas.
  • Store flammable liquids away from your tent or RV, and away from open flames.
  • Use flammable liquids only for their intended purpose.
  • Never let children use or play with lighter fluid or have them start a campfire.
  • Clear vegetation from around the tent for at least 3 feet.
  • Keep lanterns and open flames outside of the tent.
  • Completely extinguish fires, and turn off all lanterns and stoves, before going to bed.

When it comes to firewood, Cal Fire officials said, it's important to buy it where you burn it. "By burning firewood where you buy it, you can eliminate the chance of spreading nonnative pests and diseases from one area to another. This is an important step in preserving and protecting our natural resources," they said in the release. 

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