Fires and Our Forest
Every year millions of acres of woodlands and grasslands go up in smoke causing a great deal of damage across our nation. Many of these fires are caused by campers and woodland owners who are careless with open fires on the ground and not having proper materials to fight such a fire. Smokey the Bear has a sign at our front entrance to the Forest informing the membership as to the ground conditions for possible wild fires. These signs will change as conditions change. The meaning for each sign follows:
Good - No winds and Forest floor damp
Moderate - Some wildfire danger
Hazardous - Keep very close control of all fires
No Fires - Forest floor very dry - D.N.R. ban
A permit for burning Forest products on the ground is required for any fire such as leaves and twigs or limbs and logs. Campfire permits are not needed. Call the D.N.R. 734-5492 for a permit.
We suggest that the burning of any paper products or any burnable refuse be contained in a 55 gallon barrel with a screen cover to prevent sparks from floating into the dry Forest floor.
Please do not bag leaves and grass to place in the trash dumpsters at Gamma Park. The trash pickup company will not accept this type of material. We suggest that you throw your excess leaves and yard waste at the back of your property where it will decompose. Nature's way of returning food back into soil.
If you, your family and friends wish to sit around the glowing embers of a warm campfire, there are some precautions that you, the owner of the property, must take. Clear an area of at least 10 feet in diameter as shown below. This precaution will help keep sparks from igniting unwanted burnable materials.
You should have at hand a source of water, steel rakes and a shovel. Bamboo and plastic rakes do not last very long in fighting fire. Most importantly, if your fire gets out of hand, and this can happen very quickly, have someone call 911 and report the danger while you continue to fight the fire. Your do not want the fire to destroy your or your neighbor's property. Do not use sand to put out a fire -- water is the only sure way of extinguishing your fire completely. Not just out, but "cold" out. Remember, never leave a ground fire unattended. A wild fire can be traced back to the point of origin and could cost you a bundle if property is destroyed.