Tom Morcom, Mark Johnson and Dan Cannon
Vale District BLM
2011 images available for viewing here
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The Vale BLM firefighters demonstrated the features of the fire engines and hoses.
Fire safety is important outdoors. In dry desert
areas like Owyhee, wildfires can start very easily and spread very
Outdoor Fire Safety:
1. Campfires should only be started in a stone ring in an area
clear of flammable material at least 5 feet around on every side.
2. Have a shovel and water
near the fire at all times.
3. Always put out the campfire completely
before leaving. This should be done by pouring water on the fire,
then adding dirt with a shovel and mixing until the mud is
cold to the touch.
4. Make sure all your activities are
permitted before going camping. For example, ATVs are not allowed
everywhere because of fire risks.
The BLM firefighters talked to the kids about
how to recognize the signs of a fire and tell how a fire was started. In
the Vale, Oregon district, humans have caused 50-60% of outdoor fires. The remaining fires are caused by lightning strikes.
For the BLM, the saying, "fighting fire with fire," can be true. Fire is used to 'backfire', to control the spread
of fire outdoors. We also learned that, for
safety purposes, each of the firefighters carries an emergency fire
shelter in their packs. These fire shelters are strictly a matter of last resort.
The Owyhee Watershed Council's educational
activities are supported by the
Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board.
For further information please