For those planning to celebrate America’s Independence Day with cookouts and fireworks, the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) reminds everyone to observe safety precautions. “We want everyone to enjoy their celebration,” said State Forester Linda Casey, “but we also urge the use of caution with all debris burning and outdoor fires, including campfires and fireworks.”
Forestry officials make the following recommendations. Avoid shooting fireworks in or near dry grass, leaves, or other combustible materials. Thoroughly soak the area with water where fireworks are to be discharged, and have a garden hose or other source of water nearby. The same preventive measures apply when using charcoal grills. Do not dump hot coals in, near, or around dry grass, leaves, or other flammable materials. Allow briquettes to cool completely; or, soak with lots of water, stir them, and soak again, being sure they are cold to the touch. Never leave a grill unattended.
Finally, if a fire does start, it is strongly recommended that you not attempt to fight it yourself. Instead, call 911 immediately, then wait in a safe place for the arrival of the local fire department.
The mission of the Alabama Forestry Commission is to protect and sustain Alabama’s forest resources using professionally applied stewardship principals and education, ensuring that the state’s forests contribute to abundant timber and wildlife, clean air and water, and a healthy economy. To learn more about the AFC, visit www.forestry.alabama.gov.