Memorial Day Weekend is often the kick-off for summer vacations and outdoor activities. However, CalFire is urging caution this holiday weekend due to increasing fire danger throughout California.
“Recent fire activity, including a 7,000-acre fire just over the border in Nevada, really serves as a reminder that the conditions are ripe for wildfires,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, director of CalFire. “CalFire crews have already responded to over twice as many fires this year compared to last year at the same time.”
The lack of rainfall across California has set the stage for an increased potential of major wildfires. Coupled with this weekend’s increase in outdoor activities, firefighters will be on high alert.
CalFire is asking Californians and visitors to the state to be extra vigilant while recreating in the outdoors.
CalFire would like everyone to remember the following important steps this holiday.
- Obtain necessary permits needed for campfires
- Clear away grass, leaves and other debris within a 10-foot perimeter of any campfire
- Have a responsible person in attendance at all times
- Ensure all campfires are completely extinguished before leaving
- When barbequing, never leave the grill unattended
Wildfires are not the only danger posed by the outdoors; drownings also dramatically increase during the Memorial Day weekend. In California, drowning is the leading cause of death among children under 14, and every year, CalFire responds to water rescues across the state, many of which tragically claim the lives of both adults and children.
In the Water:
- Always wear a life jacket
- Children should always be supervised by a responsible adult
- Never swim alone
- Drinking and swimming is just as dangerous and drinking and driving
For more ways to be safe during the Memorial Day Weekend, visit the CalFire website at www.fire.ca.gov.