A long holiday weekend is upon us. Many will take advantage of the days off from work and school to head out onto public lands.
Please, please, do not set off fireworks in wild places. Many people and animals fear fireworks. Fireworks present an intense wildfire risk and have been banned inmost states due to sry conditions. PLEASE do NOT set off fireworks!
We cannot urge you enough to be respectful of the wild things that call these places home. Don’t block their travels to water. Be wary of spring babies. Please, please, stop chasing wild horses with ATVs and dirt bikes! Chasing wild horses and burros is against the law. We know BLM did not put up a sign at the campground, but it is illegal.
Be mindful that fire season has already begun. It is obvious (to most people) that your campfire or fireworks can cause a wildfire. But hot tailpipes and undercarriages of vehicles can also start a fire.
The National Weather Service reports red flag, high wind advisories and fire weather watch conditions in many areas in the West this weekend. The Drought Monitor notes drought conditions throughout much of the West.
This weather recipe can turn a simple spark into a raging wildfire.
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. Don’t drive off clean and clear trails.
Off Road Driving, basic tips when you drive in wild horse country 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.
As you travel out on public lands it is a good time to look deeper into the lives of the wild things that call them home.
Take time to appreciate the wild places we have left.
Have a safe holiday!
Helicopter roundup season is here again. Congress is set to fund another year of accelerated removals of wild horses and burros.
Thank you for keeping us in the fight!
Categories: Wild Horse Education