Wildfire Prevention Tips

While many wildfires are caused by dry lightning in western Colorado, about an alarming number of fires were ignited by careless human acts annually. And with fire conditions so extreme on public lands, visitors are urged to take precautions and be aware of restrictions and closures.

Here are some helpful tips to follow when visiting public lands or other areas where wildland fires can ignite.

What is the safest way to build, maintain, and extinguish a campfire?

  • Clear campfire sight down to bare soil
  • Circle the pit with rocks.
  • Build campfires away from overhanging branches, steep slopes, dry grass, and leaves.
  • Keep a bucket of water and a shovel nearby.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended.
  • When putting out a campfire, drown the fire, stir it, and drown it again.
  • Always have an adult around to supervise outdoor cooking.
  • Be careful with gas lanterns, barbeques, gas stoves, and anything that can be a source of ignition for a wildfire.

Where can I use fireworks on public lands?

  • The use of fireworks is strictly prohibited on ALL Federal and State public lands.
  • Here are some safety tips for the use of fireworks on PRIVATE LAND.
  • Always read directions.
  • Always have adult supervision.
  • Never use fireworks near dry grass or other flammable materials.
  • Have a bucket of water and a hose nearby.
  • Never attempt to re-light or “fix” fireworks.
  • Fireworks are not toys.
  • Use only State Fire Marshal approved fireworks.

How do I safely operate a on or off-road vehicle on public lands when fire potential is high?

  • Never park your vehicle on dry grass.
  • Never throw a lighted cigarette out the window of a vehicle.
  • Grease trailer wheels, check tires, and ensure safety chains are not touching the ground.
  • Avoid driving through tall grass.
  • Internal combustion engines on off-road vehicles require a spark arrester.
  • Check and clean the spark arrester.
  • Carry a shovel and fire extinguisher in your vehicle or OHV/ATV.

What are the dangers of using motorized equipment on Federal and State public lands?

  • Sparks from chainsaws, welding torches, and other equipment can cause wild fires.
  • Please check local restrictions before using such equipment.

How can I prevent a wildfire if I smoke?

  • Never throw a lighted cigarette from the window of a vehicle.
  • Never walk off and leave a burning cigarette.
  • Be aware of smoking restrictions when recreating on Federal and State public lands.
  • Use ash trays.
  • Follow all local restrictions and guidelines about smoking.

What can kids do to help prevent wildfires?

  • Never play with matches, lighters, flammable liquids, or any fire.
  • Tell your friends about fire prevention.
  • Stay calm during an emergency, and listen to instructions from your parents or another person who is in charge.

As a homeowner in the wildland/urban interface, how can I protect my property from wildfires?

The best resource for information on protecting your home is through the FireWise web site.