Education on fires in state parks needed

Once again, because of tight economic conditions, more visitors will likely be pursuing affordable vacation trips to nearby state parks within reasonable proximity to their homes.

While the financial input they provide for not only state coffers, but numerous collateral businesses, is most welcome, the time these novice outdoor participants spend in such an environment should be most pleasurable if they always remember they are actually entering a primeval world containing many natural dangerous elements that can be avoided when properly recognized.

Human error can often be a dominant factor in determining how a visit to a forest preserve eventually turns out. One area of constant concern is knowing the correct way to build and maintain a campsite fire.

Should carelessness prevail in such an activity and the worst-case scenario erupts, there can be extreme devastation.

Humans alone are not solely responsible for every huge wildfire that arises. A newspaper article dated Aug. 24, 2013, explained how in California there were late summer conditions by that May, with hot Santa Ana winds and high temperatures arriving. That spring, flames the firefighters usually knocked down unexpectedly roared up a hillside – out of control – and burned a path to the Pacific.

Being thoroughly knowledgeable about how to correctly build a campsite fire or how to react if caught within the vicinity of a sudden unexpected raging blaze caused by nature is one sure way to avoid possible loss of life.

What is being suggested here is a series of public seminars jointly conducted by state Department of Environmental Conservation personnel, and elected state, county and local representatives, and experienced outdoor sportsmen. They could work with all vacationers, adults and children, to educate people on how to react to a fire while visiting our state parks and recreational sites, if such extreme, dangerous situations should erupt.

The forests and woodlands are a primeval world within themselves, where danger takes many forms from the wildlife to nature’s destructive forces. They are also a world of enormous beauty, relaxation and contentment that everyone is entitled to safely and peacefully enjoy at their leisure.