Abandoned campfires worry firefighters, Forest Service


Increasing temperatures and the holiday weekend could create increased risk for wildfire

A campfire at Champoeg State Park, August 8, 2019 (KOIN)

WELCHES, Ore. (KOIN) — The Forest Service is worried about a high wildfire risk this holiday weekend, particularly due to abandoned campfires.

Mt. Hood National Forest firefighters responded to more than 250 human-caused fire incidents since the start of July, according to a release from the Forest Service. Abandoned campfires are the leading cause of human-caused wildfires, according to authorities.

If fires are left to go out on their own, embers might still escape the fire ring for hours after visible flames have died down.

Forest officials note that it is more difficult to completely extinguish a fire than most people think. They advise “drowning” the fire and then stirring the ash around so the water reaches the coals. Also, campers should check with their hand to make sure it is cool to the touch before they leave camp.

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