How You Can Prevent the Leading Cause of Forest Fires in NYS & PA
What's your favorite thing to do during summer and the warm weather months of the year? For me, it's spending weekends at my travel trailer, which, well, never really travels.
It's not that it can't travel, it's just that I have a really nice campsite at a family campground in Bradford County Pennsylvania, and the fact that I no longer have a tow vehicle to take it anywhere. But that's okay.
It's not really camping in the sense of a tent, sleeping bags, a few survival items and off you go into the forest type of thing. Been there, done that. I still get to be out in the country, high on a hill in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. Just that I have the comforts of home along with me. Nothing wrong with that.
My fellow campers and I have firepits. The campground provides a basic firepit for each site which is basically a large truck tire rim. Works very well. Some, including me, have store-bought firepits, and some have created their own with bricks and other materials for a really cool look.
We love to gather at each other's campsite on a Friday and/or Saturday evening with a roaring fire, various types of cold beverages and a circle of camper friends. Some wilder than others, but as long as we don't get kicked out, all is well.
One thing we are careful about, is the campfire itself. While we may have a roaring fire for most of the evening, we either outlast the fire, or make sure it's out before the last person leaves the circle, especially this year, when we've had exceptionally dry conditions.
During windy evenings, I have a cover that I put over my firepit to help prevent any embers from escaping and landing where they could start a fire outside the ring. Also, if you plan on cleaning out the ash and dumping it, make sure that ash is stone cold. It only takes a small remaining ember to start a fire. And only dump the ash in designated areas safe to do so.
If, during the remainder of the warm weather season, you plan on doing some camping that may involve a campfire, here's some safety tips to keep in mind. When retiring for the night, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) says to do these things: