Due to the extremely dry conditions currently being experienced, park officials have determined that it is necessary to restrict the use of open fires and activities, which unduly increase the fire danger.
The term "open fires" refers to any flame source not immediately extinguishable or controllable and applies to any form of wood or charcoal-based fire -- such as campfires.
Superintendent Niki Stephanie Nicholas announced the ban today in an effort to lessen the dangers of wild fires in the park.
Backcountry: No building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or cooking fire within the backcountry. Within the backcountry, portable stoves that use pressurized gas, liquid fuel, propane, or alcohol are permitted.
Designated Campgrounds: Campfires and cooking fires may still be used in the designated campground and picnic areas in developed portions of the park within established fire containers or rings and in accordance with park regulations.
Designated campgrounds and picnic areas include:
- Rock Creek Campground
- Nemo Day Use Area
- Jett Bridge Day Use Area
- Lilly Day Use Area
Within those exempted areas, fires will be permitted only within established and actively monitored fire rings and grills.
Superintendent Nicholas further noted that the ban would be lifted only after sufficient rainfall has been received and soil moisture increased significantly.
Tips for those attending a campfire in an established area include:
- Stir the coals to wet all the embers.
- Keep a shovel and water close at hand.
- Feel to ensure that the coals are dead out.
To extinguish your fire, drown the fire with about 5 gallons of water.