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Every year, human-caused wildfires account for more than 80 percent of all wildfires in the United States. Though some fires are caused by accidents, many of them can be prevented. As the weather becomes warmer and wildland vegetation, or fuels, begin to dry out, the Recreate Responsibly Coalition, in partnership with the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), is sharing guidelines to help you recreate responsibly and avoid starting a wildfire. As seasons change, so do our practices to keep everyone safe outside, and to protect the places we play!    

“Preventable wildfires threaten lives, property and precious resources every year,” said Grant Beebe, Assistant Director, Bureau of Land Management Fire. “Fewer human-caused wildfires allow our firefighters to focus on lightning ignitions – the fires we can’t prevent. Firefighters are needed more than ever to keep Americans safe, so please, do your part to prevent human-caused wildfires.”  

The Recreate Responsibly Coalition is made up of industry and public land agency representatives who support a holistic outdoor experience through responsible recreation. The coalition is working with NIFC wildland fire management agencies to protect the public, natural landscapes, wildlife habitat, recreational areas, and other values and resources.

While out enjoying your public lands, please keep in mind these #RecreateResponsibly guidelines to prevent wildfires:    

Know Before You Go – Know how to prevent wildfires by properly using outdoor equipment, learning campfire safety, and checking for fire restrictions and closures. Practice Physical Distancing – Give people space – it’s critical to not crowd firefighting efforts. Wildfires are no-drone-zones.
Plan Ahead – Know what fire restrictions are in place at your destination, and check if campfires, barbecues, and flammables are allowed.
Play it Safe – From fireworks to camp stoves, understand the potentially explosive nature of your toys and tools and that some of these may be restricted in your location.
Explore Locally – Impacts from wildfire can change your travel plans. Have a back-up plan, like close-to-home gems that you have yet to explore.
Leave No Trace – Keep your campfire small, ensure that it’s out completely and cold to the touch prior to leaving or going to sleep.  
Build an Inclusive Outdoors – Everyone experiences the outdoors differently, and we can work together to keep our communities safe.

Additional information on the Recreate Responsibly wildfire edition can be found at recreateresponsibly.org along with NIFC’s top wildfire prevention resources.