WEBER COUNTY, Utah — State and federal officials are reminding Utahns to be responsible with campfires after a U.S. Forest Service worker had to extinguish several abandoned campfires in a single day.
The U.S. Forest Service wrote in a Facebook post that a fire prevention technician in the Ogden Ranger District of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest put out nine abandoned campfires on Sunday.
Some of the fires "had good potential for escaping into the grass and brush," the Forest Service said — "especially the ones with trash on top of them that could easily ignite and blow into the grass."
The Forest Service gives the following tips for properly putting out a campfire before leaving it:
- First, drown the campfire with water!
- Next, mix the ashes and embers with soil. Scrape all partially-burned sticks and logs to make sure all the hot embers are off them.
- Stir the embers after they are covered with water and make sure that everything is wet.
- Feel the coals, embers, and any partially-burned wood with your hands. Everything (including the rock fire ring) should be cool to the touch. Feel under the rocks to make sure no embers underneath.
- When you think you are done, take an extra minute and add more water.
- Finally, check the entire campsite for possible sparks or embers, because it only takes one to start a forest fire.
- Remember…if it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave.
"Let’s protect our outdoors – pack in pack out and completely extinguish your campfires," officials wrote in Monday's Facebook post. "Without following those rules, you could have catastrophic consequences."
Utah Wildfire Info, which is part of the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands, echoed the message on Twitter and also shared photos of a few of the abandoned campfires.
#uwcnf Fire Prevention Tech, Ogden RD, extinguished 9 abandoned campfires 7/24, fires had potential for escaping into grass & brush especially ones with trash on top that could easily ignite and blow into grass. Please pack in pack out and completely extinguish your campfires. pic.twitter.com/uVE8eDbtAO— Utah Fire Info (@UtahWildfire) July 25, 2022