Opinion: Mainers Please Do Not Burn Down The Forest
For the love of God, when you go into the forest camping, put your damn fires out.
According to WGME, Forest Rangers reported more than 100 small to medium fires have broken out, due to people improperly putting out their fires or in some cases not at all.
We grew up with public service announcements with a particular bear voiced by a man named Sam Elliott. That bear said, "only you can prevent wildfires," not "only you can prevent wildfires?"
See the difference here?
The great outdoors is part of the Maine experience. If you love Maine, you have to be a fan of hiking, fishing, camping; all of those activities are facilitated by the forest that pretty much covers our entire state. People go into the woods not because they have no other option but because they like to, so for God's sake, leave the forest for other people and the wildlife that lives there.
When you're done, don't burn it down.
Here are some tips on how not to create a wildfire from the Forest Service Website
- First, drown the campfire with water!
- Next, mix the ashes and embers with soil. Scrape all partially-burned sticks and logs to make sure all the hot embers are off them.
- Stir the embers after they are covered with water and make sure that everything is wet.
- Feel the coals, embers, and any partially-burned wood with your hands. Everything (including the rock fire ring) should be cool to the touch. Feel under the rocks to make sure no embers underneath.
- When you think you are done, take an extra minute, and add more water.
- Finally, check the entire campsite for possible sparks or embers, because it only takes one to start a forest fire.
- Remember…if it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave.
The moral of the story is Mainers love the great outdoors. I, too, will get up the courage to join you in the great outdoors and do some hiking and some tubing on the River. Alas, I can't go there if you burn it down, So please keep our forest safe!