With the Fourth of July just around the corner, many are making weekend plans to go camping or hiking. Given the coronavirus pandemic, authorities urge campers and hikers to do their part in keeping themselves and others safe.
Cam Juárez, Saguaro National Park Public Information Officer, reminds people to be mindful of others this weekend. “There is a lot going on right now and we really just want folks to remember that this July Fourth Independence holiday is about enjoying your freedoms and these spaces but these spaces belong to everyone,” Juárez told KOLD News 13.
As more people head for the outdoors, officials ask that people do their best to keep recreation areas clean. Juárez also mentions an uptick in vandalism in the parks. “More and more people are getting outdoors and we are seeing an increase in trash getting left behind,” Juárez said. “We definitely have seen some folks vandalize some stuff and these are items that have been around for many, many generations.”
Many states are implementing fire restrictions. Before lighting up the campfire, be sure to do your research about such rules. Officials ask that people opt for lower-risk activities while hiking or camping this weekend. “Part of the reason we’re pushing for this is because a lot of our search and rescue are pretty occupied with the fires,” he said. “Nonetheless, those rescue organizations are available.”
Authorities urge campers and hikers to practice social distancing. Some parks or campgrounds may not require masks, but it’s best to pack one just in case. “Have a mask ready, and if you don’t have them on, at least have them in your pocket in case you come across an area that might be congested,” he said. “It’s 4th of July weekend, so we’re expecting a whole lot more people.”
[H/T KOLD News 13]