California Bans Campfires Amid Wildfire Concerns

by Kati Kuuseoks
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Wildfires continue to loom over a large portion of the West and it’s beginning to appear like there’s no end in sight. The fires burned through acres upon acres of animal habitats already and the future looks bleak unless the fires can get under control soon. As firefighters continue to battle the blaze, many are wondering what we can do to aid their fight. The answer involves taking fire safety seriously. California recently revamped its precautionary measures to keep people safe by closing all National Forest areas to the public. In a bid to prevent more mishaps and accidental flames, California just banned the use of all campfires as well.

Labor Day Weekend Will Have to Be “Lit” Without Any Flames: Blame Wildfires

There’s just something about campfires, man. And s’mores? Forget it! Even “Law & Order: SVU” star Mariska Hargitay can’t get enough of kicking back with her family, sitting around a fire. That will have to wait for California residents ahead of the newest fire safety measures from the state.

Actually, Cal Fire pushed the mandate prohibiting all outdoor burning including campfires and all open flame BBQs. Moreover, authorities are only allowing above ground charcoal barbeques in organized campgrounds or picnic areas. The mandate goes into effect starting at noon Friday in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. They are located just outside San Francisco for reference. At this time, Cal Fire says they don’t know when it will be safe to release the ban. The wildfires continue to pose seriously devastating threats. In a stern reminder, Cal Fire tells the public: The public is cautioned that they are liable for any fire they lose control over.” This came as part of a series of comments to the New York Post.

This also means Labor Day will look a little different this year. Still, giving up the BBQ is a small price to pay in order to prevent the spread of any more wildfires. It just takes one pesky spark to cause irreversible, irreparable damage and tragedy after all. One Colorado lawnmower almost did just that the other day after a spark ignited dry grass and went on to burn 3 football fields worth of earth.

Reminders from Smokey the Bear

As the winds die down in California for a little while, firefighters urge the public to stay aware of other potentially dangerous conditions. The dry weather, for example, keeps the fire danger in extremely high territory. At least 15 separate fires continue to keep officials busy across California. The biggest flames from the Caldor Fire forced Lake Tahoe’s evacuation recently. The flames are currently only about 27 percent contained. Just north, the Dixie Fire surpassed records as the state’s second-largest wildfire in history and stands at approximately 55 percent contained.

Smokey the Bear is making appearances again as part of the Wildfire Prevention Campaign. This campaign boasts the title of the longest-running public service announcement campaign in United States history. His tagline is true now more than ever: “Only YOU can prevent wildfires.” His site shares some pretty scare statistics like the fact that in 2019 humans caused 87% of wildfires. Smokey also provides a plethora of fire safety knowledge, tips, and tricks for all ages.

(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
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