Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, Gunnison (GMUG) National Forest workers found a campfire on the Mesa still smoldering recently but luckily were able to put it out before it ignited a wildfire. GMUG spokesperson Leanne Loupe says this is the busy season for GMUG with campers and recreationists pouring into the area and fanning out across the Grand Mesa. Loupe says that thanks in part top recent cool and wet weather it has been a relatively mild wildfire season so far and National Forest Rangers want to keep it that way. With the fire danger currently low there is no requirement to attain a campfire permit but practicing extreme caution with fire in the forest is still advised. Loupe says campers should never leave a campfire unattended and need to make sure extinguished fires are cold to the touch before vacating camp.
Packing a shovel, sand, and plenty of water might not only help prevent the spread of fire and save lives, it can save money as well. Several fire fighting agencies now bill fire starters for the cost of fighting a fire if it was erroneously set and that can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in addition to legal penalties.