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Forest Service sees dangerous increase in abandoned campfires

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Posted at 1:23 PM, Aug 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-22 15:23:17-04

SALT LAKE CITY – There has been a significant increase in abandoned campfires in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest this season, according to a news release.

Firefighters have discovered 209 abandoned campfires and 53 campfires that have escaped from their fire pits.

Forest visitors are legally responsible for abandoned and escaped fires, which are considered wildfires, and can be charged for the costs if they spark larger wildfires, the Forest Service said.

Here are some safe campfire tips:

  • Pick a safe location for your fire pit, away from dry grass and overhanging logs.
  • Only use logs that fit inside the fire pit.
  • To extinguish campfire, pour water on the fire, stir, add more water and stir until it is cold to the touch.
  • Always have a shovel and plenty of water to extinguish campfires.

And remember, “If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave,” the Forest Service said.