As we as a nation face health crisis, moral crisis, environmental crisis, our field representatives are reporting in.
It is noted that a lot of people are traveling out into our wild places. Many people are either inexperienced with the fragile environments they are moving through, or they simply do not care and their behavior reflects the attitude. We are noting ATVs and dirt bikes off marked trails, piles of trash, broken bottles. We hear rifle fire. We have even noted drones (and dirt bikes) chasing wild horses, pronghorn and even harassing domestic livestock. (We are reporting, as we do each year.)
In the West we are entering fire season. We want to remind you that wildfire can move faster than your ATV.
Common Sense: If its windy or extremely dry… don’t start a fire. Don’t start a campfire, light a firecracker or shoot your gun. Remembering the “Duh factor” can save your life and the lives of others, never leave home without it.
Off Road Driving, basic tips when you drive off-road to prevent wildfire:
- Stay on roads. If a two track is overgrown, and you are in a gas powered vehicle, you are unfamiliar with fire precautions, and the weather is dry, simply do not travel it.
- Inspect your exhaust system to ensure it is undamaged, functioning properly and free of grass and twigs. (Regularly inspect the undercarriage to ensure that fuel and brake lines are intact and no oil leaks are apparent.)
- Operate ATVs (or any vehicle) on established roads and trails only, and park on gravel surfaces or pull-outs. Avoid driving or riding where dry vegetation can contact the exhaust system. Never park over tall, dry grass or piles of brush that can touch the underside of a vehicle or tailpipe.
- Always carry an approved fire extinguisher in vehicles that are used off-road.
- Carry a shovel and additional water. If you start a small fire by accident (you see smoldering after you pull away, always check) or on purpose (camping) make sure you put it out.
- When you stop inspect undercarriage for grasses and debris, remove it. We can not stress this enough.
- If you smell smoke in your vehicle check your undercarriage and remove debris immediately. Any sparks or embers you remove, extinguish and saturate with water.
- Always check fire danger and local fire reports. You do not want to get caught on the range in a wildfire. Check inciweb or touch base with the field office if you are heading out on public lands.
- When possible travel with someone that has experience on range in any weather condition you face (fire or snow). Learning from those with experience could save your life.
Additional reading material (past articles that include fire safety and information about fires, including the massive Martin Fire that burned more wild horse habitat than any fire since the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act). Click HERE.
PLEASE Take Action to fight back against the funding set to decimate our wild horses in the spending bill.
More money to accelerate the status quo and no actual management plan.
Help us stay in the fight.
Categories: Wild Horse Education