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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dry Conditions Require Caution for Memorial Day Weekend

Significant Fire Increase Has CAL FIRE Officials Concerned

Sacramento – Memorial Day Weekend is often the kick-off for summer vacations and outdoor activities.

However, CAL FIRE is urging caution this holiday weekend due to the increasing fire danger throughout

“Recent fire activity including a 7,000 acre fire just over the border in Nevada, really serves as a reminder,
that the conditions are ripe for wildfires,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, director of CAL FIRE. “CAL FIRE
crews have already responded to over twice as many fires this year compared to last year at the same time.”
The lack of rainfall across California has set the stage for an increased potential of major wildfires.
Coupled with this weekend’s increase in outdoor activities, firefighters will be on high alert. CAL FIRE is
asking Californians and visitors to the state to be extra vigilant while recreating in the outdoors.
CAL FIRE would like everyone to remember these important steps this holiday:

  • Obtain necessary permits needed for campfires
  • Clear away grass, leaves and other debris within a 10-foot perimeter of any campfire
  • Have a responsible person in attendance at all times
  • Ensure all campfires are completely extinguished before leaving
  • When barbequing, never leave the grill unattended

Wildfires are not the only danger posed by the outdoors; drownings also dramatically increase during the
Memorial Day weekend. In California, drowning is the leading cause of death among children under 14,
and every year CAL FIRE responds to water rescues across the state, many of which tragically claim the
lives of both adults and children.

In the Water:

  • Always wear a life jacket!
  • Children should always be supervised by a responsible adult
  • Never swim alone
  • Drinking and swimming is just as dangerous and drinking and driving.


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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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