With the Fourth of July almost upon us, Firefighters are seeking the public's help to be "Fire Safe" this holiday and throughout the summer. Here are some very important reminders:

Fireworks and other exploding targets are prohibited on all federal lands, including the Custer and the Gallatin National Forests regardless of weather conditions or holidays.

Recreationists who are camping over the 4th of July are reminded to extinguish campfires properly with water, and shovel until coals are cool. Scott Schuster, Custer Fire Management Officer, says

Even in the light of recent precipitation, recreationists are reminded to take care not to spark any unwanted fires. Recent rains allow fuels, especially grasses, to grow this spring and summer. Taking extra caution this holiday while working and playing outdoors will continue to help prevent wildland fire starts now and throughout the summer.

Here are some other important reminders:

  • The smallest spark has the potential to cause significant damage (so always crush cigarettes dead out)
  • Never leave a campfire unattended
  • Ensure that your vehicle has a properly installed spark arrester that is operational
  • Stop and park only in areas clear of vegetation

Contact your local fire department to determine any local restrictions in your area. Those discharging fireworks on National Forest System lands can be fined up to $5,000 and receive up to six months in jail.

For more information about the Custer and Gallatin National Forests, visit fs.usda.gov/gallatin or fs.usda.gov/custer or contact any of the Ranger District offices.