Posted: Jul 23, 2012 12:24 PM by KPAX News Staff
Updated: Jul 23, 2012 2:00 PM
HAMILTON- Bitterroot National Forest firefighters on routine patrol discovered two abandoned campfires over the weekend.
The fires were left burning in fire rings at camp areas on the West Fork Ranger District and Bitterroot National Forest spokesperson Tod McKay, says at one location campers already left the site. And at the second, the campers left their fire smoldering while hiking down to a creek.
McKay says if fire crews had not been close by, the abandoned campfires could have quickly and easily spread with just a little wind.
This marks the fifth time abandoned campfires have been discovered and extinguished by firefighters this summer on the Bitterroot National Forest.
McKay pointed out there's a $200 fine for leaving an abandoned campfire, plus the campers could be charged with the whole cost of suppressing the fire if it grows beyond the fire ring.
Crews have also put out 20 lightning caused fires.
Forest officials are asking the public to be extremely careful when camping and to remember that it's your job to properly maintain and extinguish your campfire by following these tips: