Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday is Friday, Aug. 9. On that anniversary, the U.S. Forest Service reminds Southeast Alaska residents that the region is still in a drought. Wildland fires are a danger.
More than 95 percent of wildland fires in Southeast are caused by humans. The majority of those are from unattended campfires.
The Forest Service has provided some campfire safety guidelines. They include not building a campfire on top of combustible material. Instead, choose a beach or an area that is bare mineral soil.
Campers also should check for any local fire restrictions, keep campfires small and away from flammable material, use designated campfire rings when available, keep water and a shovel nearby, and completely extinguish a campfire before leaving by drowning it with water, stirring with a shovel and making sure the campfire is cold to the touch.