The U.S. Bureau of Land Management urges the public to prevent wildfires on public lands especially with the Independence Day holiday later this week.

“Preventable wildfires threaten lives, property and precious resources every year,” the BLM's assistant state fire manager Richard Putnam said in a prepared statement.

“Firefighters are needed more than ever to keep Americans safe, so please, do your part to prevent human-caused wildfires," Putnam said.

The BLM urges the public to take these precautions when recreating outdoors:

  • Have a shovel and water on hand to extinguish campfires.
  • Avoid parking in tall dry grass.
  • Do not drive off-highway vehicles in areas where dry grass can be ignited by hot exhaust.
  • When camping and using outdoor grills, clear the surrounding area of flammable vegetation.
  • Check trailers to ensure equipment is in working order and chains are not dragging.
  • If target shooting, please take all the proper precautionary measures to be fire-safe. Select an area that is free of flammable materials and bring a fire extinguisher or water to extinguish any flames.
  • Unauthorized use of an unmanned aircraft system, commonly called a drone, over or near a wildfire endanger the lives of pilots, firefighters and members of the public.

These precautions are in addition to the BLM's year-round restrictions on public lands:

  • Using or discharging fireworks.
  • Discharging a firearm using incendiary or tracer ammunition.
  • Using an exploding target.
  • Burning, igniting or causing any tire, wire, magnesium or any other hazardous explosive material to burn.

Likewise, anyone using an off-road vehicle on BLM-administered lands must have a properly installed spark arrester.

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