Avoid starting a wildfire by taking these precautions - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Fire Alert

Avoid starting a wildfire by taking these precautions

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When Building and Putting Out a Campfire:

  • Build campfires away from overhanging branches, steep slopes, rotten stumps, logs, dry grass and leaves.
  • Keep plenty of water handy and have a shovel for throwing dirt on the fire if it gets out of control.
  • Keep the campfire small. Scrape away litter, duff, and any burnable material within a 10-foot-diameter circle. This will keep a small campfire from spreading.
  • Be sure your match is out. Hold it until it is cold.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended.
  • Drown the fire with water. Make sure all embers, coals, and sticks are wet. Move rocks around to check for burning embers underneath.

Using Charcoal Briquettes:

  • After using the burning charcoal briquettes, soak the coals with lots of water, stir them and soak again. Be sure they are out cold! Carefully feel the coals with your bare hands to be sure.


  • When smoking is permitted outdoors, safe practices require at least a 3-foot clearing around the smoker. Grind out your cigarette, cigar, or pipe tobacco in the dirt. Never grind it on a stump or log. Use your ashtray while in your car.

Lanterns, Stoves, and Heaters:

  • Cool all lanterns, stoves, and heaters before refueling. Place them on the ground in a cleared area to fill them. If fuel spills, move the appliance to a new clearing before lighting it. Recap and store flammable liquid containers in a safe place. Never light lanterns and stoves inside a tent, trailer or camper. If you use a lantern or stove inside a tent or trailer be sure to have adequate ventilation. Always read and follow instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Vehicles and Spark Arresters:

  • All types of equipment and vehicles including chain saws, portable generators, cross-country vehicles, and trail bikes require spark arresters if used in or near grass, brush or a wooded area. To make sure that the spark arrester is functioning properly check with the dealer or contact your local Forest Service or State forestry office.
  • Prior to using a chain saw, check with your local office find out the Industrial Fire Precaution Level.
  • Do not park vehicles or ATV's on dry grass.