Friday, March 30, 2007

Western North Carolina wildfires burn larger area in 2007

Dry and windy conditions this year has made Western NC a tinderbox as more than 350 wildfires has already burned more than 2,600 acres and between continued dry weather and record breaking temperatures the end is not in site.

Fires have already claimed 125% more area than the same time last year and according to forest supervisor Ted Duncan "They're burning more intense and spreading quicker".

What can you do to reduce the risk of wildfires? Here are a few tips that a to how to prevent wildfires:

  • Do not toss cigarettes or cigars out of a car or along a trail.
  • Do not ever park a vehicle on dry grass as hot parts such as the exhaust system in a car can start a fire.
  • If you are using a off-road vehicle or internal combustion equipment make sure you are using a spark arrester.
  • Not only is unlawful trash burning is a punishable offense; burning trash can easily get out of control.
  • If you are camping never use stoves, lanterns or heaters inside a tent
  • Make sure that a fire is completely out before you leave the area.
  • Never take sticks out of a burning campfire.
  • Always store any flammable liquid containers in a safe place.
  • At the first sign of a wildfire always leave area immediately using established trails or roads. If a trail or road is blocked go to the nearest stream or lake. Contact a ranger or call 911 as soon as possible.

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