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 rapidly.

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.
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 contact:
Nicole Sullivan
Owyhee Watershed Coordinator
(541) 372-5782