Campfire Safety

It is the time of year where the weather is cooling off and we are all getting outside more. If you live in an area where there are hiking trails, camping and the many other outdoor activities, you are bound to see campfires and charcoal grills lighting up the trails. It’s a fun and nostalgic time of year, cooking s’mores over the fire, roasting hot dogs, or warming up your cold fingers and toes. But there is a dimmer side to campfires that many people do not think about.

 

The sad truth is that nearly 9 out of 10 wildfires are still caused by humans

 

Although most of us don’t behave this way intentionally, each year we learn of devastating wildfires caused by careless behavior which can impact millions of acres of forest and thousands of homes.

 

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Common ways YOU could unintentionally start a wildfire

  • unattended debris burning
  • equipment fires such as from lawnmowers, ATVs, power equipment
  • smoking
  • unattended campfires
  • fireworks
  • carelessly discarding fireplace or BBQ ashes

 

It is so important to understand the safety and prevention of wildfires. They are damaging not only to the forest but can also be damaging to any homes and structures around them as well. It really isn’t all that difficult to take steps to ensure that you are doing what it takes to prevent a wildfire.

Wildland-urban interface fires tend to be more damaging than urban structural fires, and behave differently from structural fires. The wildland-urban interface is the area where homes and other human development meet or intermingle with undeveloped forests, grasslands, or other natural areas.

People who live in these areas often forget or disregard the wildland fire cycles and dangers. Homes and other structures are built and maintained in a manner that leaves them and their occupants vulnerable. Thus, fire becomes a significant threat to both humans and natural resources.

 

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Smokey Bear’s Campfire Safety Guide

 

How to Pick Your Spot Here are steps for picking your burning site to promote wildfire safety. More

How to Build and/or Prepare Your Campfire Pit Before you start your campfire, you need to prepare and arrange an appropriate pit. More

How to Build Your Campfire If you find a good pit at your campsite, it’s time to safely build your campfire! More

How to Maintain and Extinguish Your Campfire Safety doesn’t end when the fire’s lit. Learn how to safely maintain and put out your campfire here. More

 

How else can you help? Be smart when you go outdoors! Show your commitment to wildfire prevention. Join me in taking the Smokey Bear Pledge!

  • To use caution and common sense before lighting any fire.
  • To understand that any fire I or my friends create could become a wildfire.
  • To understand and practice proper guidelines whenever I or my friends create a fire outdoors.
  • To never, ever leave any fire unattended.
  • To make sure any fire that I or my friends create is properly and completely extinguished before moving on.
  • To properly extinguish and discard of smoking materials.
  • To be aware of my surroundings and be careful when operating equipment during periods of dry or hot weather.
  • To speak up and step in when I see someone in danger of starting a wildfire.

 

 

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The Top 2 Rules About Wildlife on Our Homestead Property

We have a rule here on the homestead – everything here has a place in the cycle of life. Animals that we raise here are healthy, happy and enjoying life.

 

Weaner Piglet

 

Chickens enjoy their chickeness; pigs enjoy their pigness. They can go outside whenever they like, they can chase bugs and search for worms; they can plow up their pastures. Pretty much, whatever they like to do, they get to do it. This is Rule #1.

When it comes to wild animals, the same rules apply. Go forth and multiply (unless you are a rabbit – could you please start using condoms?). Enjoy your time on earth and try to stay away from predators. Sometimes, that includes people, right?

Graham is a hunter and we both love fishing. We don’t really do catch and release, unless the fish are too small. We fish because we love to enjoy a great day on the water. But it’s always a hope that we come home limiting out on fish, that we then grill, smoke or deep fry. Working towards filling our freezers is part of our life here.

When it comes to wildlife on our property, rule #2 can kick in. Not always but often it does.  Especially if something is trying to get into our garden, eat our fruit trees or damage property. Rule #2 is “If you eat what is mine, I will eat you”. The rule doesn’t apply outside of hunting season, which can lead to a few four letter words and having to come up with alternatives to get the animal to move on.

 

Buck Deer in the Barn

We had a young buck deer bedding down in the barn breezeway a few years ago – he was a nuisance and seemed a little entitled. He just had to have a place in the shade, preferably with hay so he could have a comfortable bed! When we wasn’t at our place, he relaxed in the neighbours carport. Silly boy, I was hitting him in the rump with a pellet gun, but he just didn’t want to move on.

Although we never shot him, intending to kill, obviously someone did because he hasn’t been seen here for a few years now. And it was only a matter of time; he had developed zero fear for humans and much desire for his own comfort level. If he had still been here in buck season we would have taken him.

Deer Fawn Still with its Spots

Sometimes deer get into our garden, even with the yellow rope we ran around the perimeter. We have had does in there, in Spring, so we just know she has fawns somewhere. But it is not only out of season to dispatch her, we don’t want her fawns dying because they are still dependent on their Mama.

The worst thing is, all Mama is teaching them is to hang out around our place – there are lots of greens and healthy veggies to nibble on (and destroy). All these fawns learn is to return to this area when they are ready to have their young. Then it becomes a different kind of cycle – the kind you don’t want.

Is it frustrating? It sure can be, but we won’t sacrifice the young to be rid of the nuisance. And so we wait…wait to see if she moves on. Usually she doesn’t and so we wait till deer season opens and then she is legally dispatched. Then we butcher and fill our freezer. Her young are old enough to make it on their own and we hope against hope, they go away and don’t come back.

 

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We are so fortunate that there is so much wildlife in this Valley -moose, bear, deer, rabbits, grouse etc. We love seeing wildlife in its natural element – bears especially are so beautiful. So black and shiny, so healthy looking. We saw a bruin a few years old coming home the other day. He was magnificent.

Moose in the Pasture

But, he and all the other wildlife need to keep our rules in mind. We are higher on the food chain than they are. If you eat my garden, I will eat you. It is really that simple.

Do you hunt and fish to help fill the family freezer? What do you do to deter wildlife from your gardens and yards?

 

 

Want to be sure you’re reading what we’re writing?   Subscribe to our mailing list and don’t miss a single post. Take a look at our sidebar at the top of the page and subscribe. I promise you I’ll keep your email addresses to myself – you won’t ever be spammed and I won’t ever do anything with my list other than let you know every time a new post is published here and give you the inside scoop on great info and deals.