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State fire marshall reminds residents of wildfire dangers
Memorial Day weekend has become synonymous with the beginning of summer by celebrating with barbecues, outdoor cooking and camping. The Office of the State Fire Marshal would like to remind everyone to be aware and careful about any activity that could trigger a wildfire. “It doesn’t take much for a small fire to turn into a large blaze,” says State Fire Marshal Charles Duffy, “Knowing a few fire safety tips will help everyone have a fire safe holiday weekend.”
• It is important to follow the park's rules for the use and extinguishing of campfires.
• Build campfires where they will not spread. A 5-10 foot circle around the fire should be cleared of all flammable materials and your tent should be at least 15 feet away.
• Keep campfires to a reasonable and manageable size, no larger than 3’x3’ – do not let them get out of hand.
• Thoroughly drown the fire, stir it and douse it again with water – do not leave a fire until it is OUT COLD.
• Always inspect your grill at the beginning of the season, checking all connections and supply hoses. Make sure the venturi tubes that deliver gas to the burner are not blocked.
• Do not overfill the propane tank. Always store tanks outside, in a well-ventilated area.
• Keep barbecue 5-10 feet away from your house or other flammable material. Never barbecue in enclosed areas – carbon monoxide could result.
• Do not add fluid to hot coals. The flame can flash back up into the container and explode.
• Dispose of hot coals properly - douse them with plenty of water and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.
General Fire Safety
• Ensure children and pets are kept well away from fire. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately.
• Make sure everyone knows to Stop, Drop and Roll in case a piece of clothing does catch fire. Call 911 if a burn warrants serious medical attention.
• Never leave your fire unattended and keep plenty of water nearby.
• Do not wear loose clothing while tending a fire and tie long hair back.
For additional fire safety tips and informational brochures visit the Office of the State Fire Marshal webpage at www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/firemars or the United States Fire Administration webpage at www.usfa.dhs.gov
The Office of the State Fire Marshal is a Bureau of the Washington State Patrol, providing fire and life safety services to the citizens of Washington State including inspections of state licensed facilities, plan review of school construction projects, licensing of fire sprinkler contractors and pyrotechnic operators, training Washington State’s firefighters, and collecting emergency response data.