Over the past few days we have been posting notices about a fire that has so far burned about 100 acres on the south arm of Knife Lake. And late yesterday we found out that “hoot owl” fire restrictions for the Tofte and Gunflint Districts are starting Friday, August 30th at 12:00 am. That means fires are allowed only from 7:00 pm until midnight.
All of this brings home the dangers of the dry spell we have been having as of late. While it was quite wet and the fire threat was low earlier this summer, that is changing quickly. That makes it a great time to review basic fire safety.
We have all heard it a million time and we nod our heads knowingly as we hear it again, but let’s bear with it and remember a few things.
- It is actually much more efficient to cook a meal over a stove than over a fire so in essence, a fire is unnecessary.
- In saying that, what fun is it to go camping without a fire? Sitting around a campfire, eating s’mores, maybe enjoying an adult beverage before bed. The loons are calling in the distance. Fish are jumping on the lake. A fire is really part of the whole Boundary Waters experience.
- Ok, you have your fire and it is lovely. You waited until after 7:00, when the temperatures have cooled, the winds are lighter and the relative humidity is up. You have not built it very large, so it is controllable. And since it is dry, you have a bucket of water nearby, just in case an ember tries to make a getaway. Life does not get any better than this.
- It is now time for bed. When you go to bed, take that bucket of water and pour it over the fire. Then continue to put water over the fire until it is cold. Stir the ashes around to make sure it is totally out. No embers looking for a way out.
- The process of making sure the fire is out is the same when you leave your campsite, not only on the day you depart but every time you leave your campsite. Do not leave the fire unattended at any time.
See, was that so bad? We all just had a quick review and a test will follow. Well maybe not today but be prepared for a pop quiz at any time. Meanwhile, enjoy yourselves out there and play safe.