A fire has been burning in Arizona’s Bear Wallow Wilderness area since May 29th, and has officially been declared the largest wildfire in the state’s history. As of Wednesday, the fire was still burning, marking more than two weeks of ongoing destruction in the area. Recently, officials revealed that the record-breaking fire was caused by humans.
Although the investigation is still ongoing, investigators have said that the fire was human-caused and may have been started by an abandoned campfire in the forest. In other words, another blow to the environment and natural wildlife has been struck by people being careless with natural resources.
It’s sad to realize that this tragedy could have been prevented. However, it’s a good time to stop and remember what we can do to prevent a similar event from happening in our own areas.
How to Prevent Forest Fires
Don’t smoke. If you do smoke in a forest, don’t throw your butts on the ground. Extinguish them completely and take the butts with you out of the forest.
Extinguish your campfire completely. Before retiring for the night or leaving your site, pour water on the campfire to make sure it is no longer burning.
Build safe fires. Stick to designated fire pits when possible. If making your own pit is allowed, build your fire at least 15 feet away from tents, shrubs and trees.
Leave the candles at home. Battery powered flashlights and lanterns are a safer alternative to fire-fueled light sources.
Never leave a fire unattended. Whether you’re grilling over a campfire or burning debris in your own backyard, consistently monitor your fire. Even properly built fires can cause problems if left unattended and it doesn’t take long for a fire to spread.
While you’re not likely to start a forest fire on your boat, we all know it’s just as important to protect our resources on land as well as in the water! Be watchful and safe this summer.