Hunting season is upon us.   This year with the extreme drought conditions and threat of more wildfires, it is imperative that everyone enjoying being in the great outdoors take the needed precautions to practice safety to prevent wildfires.

Fall wildfires interrupt and close access to hunting areas and cause animals to move to areas that provide their basic essentials--food, water, and shelter.  Most fall wildfires tend to burn at increased temperatures due to the drier conditions causing the ground to be severely scorched which stalls the native plant growth.   This unfortunately allows the growth to be replaced with weeds, including cheatgrass.

Check your hunting area for fire restrictions and rules and be prepared to take immediate action in the event there is a fire.   All fire status information can be found at In the event you see smoke or fire, call 911

There are several precautions that can be taken to prevent a fire; however, your safety is also important so know the conditions and know your area including alternate routes to leave your location.  

The restrictions in your area may be categorized as Stage I, II or III.  It is recommended that you know the restrictions prior to traveling to your hunting spot.  The restriction guidelines are found on your hunting forest website.   
Some quick pointers to help prevent fires

  • Abide by all campfire rules including having a confined area and making sure the fire is completely out.
  • Look over your vehicle and make sure nothing is dragging that can cause a spark. A common cause is the chain on your towing apparatus.
  • Do not drive or park on dry grass or brush.  The heat from the exhaust pipe, muffler or catalytic converter can ignite the grass or brush.
  • Check your vehicle for oil leaks to prevent the leaks from accelerating a fire.
  •  Make sure your chainsaw or recreational motor vehicles have spark arrestors.
  • Some restrictions require smoking only in a vehicle or building; however, ensure no ashes blow outside.
  • Use correct ammunition, no tracers or incendiary bullets.
  • Have a shovel, water, and an extinguisher with you.
The violation of restrictions usually imposes a fine and there is the possibility that you may be held responsible for the ensuing damages.  The greater concern is, of course, is the potential loss to the forest, animals and possibly even human life.
Be aware and follow the restrictions!