MDC reminds hunters and others to be careful with campfires

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – With ongoing drought conditions continuing around much of the state and many of Missouri’s 450,000+ deer hunters hitting the woods and making deer camps over the coming weeks, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reminds everyone to be extra careful with campfires and other sources of outdoor fire that could cause a wildfire.

MAKING A CAMPFIRE: Clear a generous zone around fire rings. Store unused firewood a good distance from a campfire. Never use gasoline, kerosene, or other flammable liquid to start a fire. Keep campfires small and controllable. Keep fire-extinguishing materials close, such as a rake, shovel, and bucket of water. Extinguish campfires each night and make sure coals are cold before leaving camp, even if it’s just for a few moments.

DRIVING OFF ROAD: Wildfires can start when dry fuel, such as grass, comes in contact with catalytic converters and exhausts. Think twice before driving into and across a grassy field. Never park over tall, dry grass or piles of leaves that can touch the underside of a vehicle. When driving vehicles off road, regularly inspect the undercarriage to ensure that fuel and brake lines are intact, and no oil leaks are apparent. Always carry an approved fire extinguisher on vehicles that are used off road. Check for the presence of spark arresters on ATV exhausts.

CALL FOR HELP: Call 911 at the first sign of a fire getting out of control.

REPORT FOREST ARSON: Wildfires are sometimes set by vandals. Help stop arson by calling 800-392-1111 and reporting any potential arson activities. Callers will remain anonymous, and rewards are possible.