In anticipation of the increased outdoor activities, CAL FIRE officials are urging everyone to exercise caution and emphasize safety during the Memorial Day holiday.

“With the heavy rainfall and snowmelt the grass and brush is abundant,” said Unit Chief Bernie Paul. “With the warmer weather on its way the temperatures will dry out the vegetation, which will elevate the risk for a wildfire.”

Wildfire is not the only danger posed in the outdoors; drowning also dramatically increase on Memorial Day weekend. In California, drowning is the leading cause of deaths among children under the age of 14, and every year CAL FIRE responds to water rescues all across the state, many of which claim the lives of both children and adults.

“Memorial Day weekend is a great time of year to get together with your family and friends and enjoy each others company and the outdoors,” said Paul. “We still want to remind everyone of the potential hazards the outdoor poses. CAL FIRE wants to give you the steps to stay safe to prevent a tragedy from happening.

CAL FIRE offers these safety tips:

Camping
• Obtain necessary permits needed for a campfire
• Clear away leaves, grass and other debris within a 10-foot perimeter of any campfire
• Have a responsible person in attendance at all times
• Ensure all campfires are completely extinguished before leaving

Water Safety
• Always wear a life jacket
• Never swim alone
• Children should always be supervised by a responsible adult
• Swimming and alcohol don’t mix. Alcohol can impair your ability causing you to under estimate the water and overestimate your ability.

For more life and fire safety tips visit the CAL FIRE Web site at www.fire.ca.gov.