Forest fires can happen unexpectedly and cause serious damage to state parks and other areas. Because of this, you may want to learn how to protect the local state park from forest fires whenever you visit the area. If you need some tips to help you act responsibly during the trip, you should go through the ideas listed below.
Listen to Park Guidelines
Each state park will list its own guidelines for you to follow, so you should look into this information and understand the rules. Many times, state parks may even issue fines if you break rules, so you should know the rules for the area. Otherwise, you run the risk of breaking rules without realizing the potential dangers you caused.
This means you should go on the state park's website and see if they have listed rules. If you encounter a situation not specified on the website, you can contact a park ranger with your questions. Either way, you should do some research to avoid any surprises or problems while at the park.
Use Dedicated Space
As you go to a state park, you should see if the area has dedicated spaces for you to spend time at. For example, the Sleeper State Park Michigan created dedicated camping spaces for you to use. This means if you plan to camp at a park, you should make sure you stay in the space dedicated to those activities.
You should see if the state park has dedicated space for other activities including hiking, cooking, and much more. If you don't perform these activities in dedicated areas, you could end up causing problems for the park. Make sure you identify these spots and avoid activities that could cause problems.
Avoid Making Fire When Possible
While some state parks may allow you to make a fire at the campsite, you should avoid doing it if possible. After all, a fire could get out of control, so you may want to find other options to cook food or do anything else. Otherwise, you could end up causing a fire even if you never intended to do so in the first place.
If you need to make a fire at the park, you should make sure you do it in a controlled environment. This usually involves utilizing firepits included at the park since they don't have grass or other debris around them, so make sure to use these spaces.
Check the Fire Danger Signs
Some state parks include fire danger signs to keep you informed about potential fires. While these signs exist to protect you and other guests, they can inform you about the odds of a forest fire starting. This means you should check the signs when you arrive and ensure you don't go during a high-risk scenario.
Most of these fire danger signs have different levels of risk, so you should see if you can visit during an ideal time if you plan to work with fire. Keep in mind some areas will have more fire danger risks during certain times of the year, so you should plan your seasonal visits accordingly.
Reduce Litter When Possible
After you visit a state park, you should go through the trouble of removing litter from the area. As a general rule, you should ensure the area has less litter than when you arrived. That way, you can keep the area clean while also reducing the risk of forest fires caused by debris and litter floating around the park.
For example, when litter roams around the area, it can end up landing in different spots and causing fires. This means you should do your best to remove the litter and not leave any behind, so you don't cause problems. It all comes down to maximizing safety and reducing problems for the park.
Protecting your state park from forest fires requires responsibility and effort on your part, so you don't cause any problems. If you want to focus on protection, you need to follow the guidelines listed above, so you can minimize issues. As you remain conscious of your actions during your visit, you can play a role in forest fire prevention.
Written by Lizzie Howard
About the Author
Lizzie Howard is a Colorado native who after graduating from the University of Colorado spends her time as a freelance writer. When Lizzie isn’t writing, she enjoys going on hikes, baking for her friends and family, and spending time with her beloved yellow lab, Sparky.
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