The Curry Coastal Pilot

Fire season in Curry County, with its many restrictions, begins Monday andndash; at the same time people are buying and setting off fireworks throughout the Brookings-Harbor area.

It's perfect timing.

The South Coast has been enjoying relatively cool, moist weather these past few months, but it's not enough to offset the current fire danger in and around our communities.

Add an errant bottle rocket or two to the existing dry conditions, and the results could be disasterous andndash; in our forests, on our beaches and in our neighborhoods.

We urge people to resist lighting their own pyrotechnic displays and, instead, enjoy the professionally managed firework shows scheduled Wednesday in Brookings and Gold Beach.

If you absolutely must light fireworks this Fourth of July, please practice caution andndash; yes, even the so-called "safe and sane" fireworks.

After July 4, with several months of warm, dry weather still to come, it's imperative that we continue to practice fire-safe procedures. Many fires reported each year have been sparked by human carelessness.

As conditions change this summer, firefighting agencies will tighten and ease fire restrictions. The Pilot will continue to publish updates, but it will be difficult to know at any given time whether fire is allowed or not.

It would be best to refrain from doing any type of burning, permit or not. If you do choose to use fire, here are some tips, courtesy of the Coos Forest Protective Association, to reduce the risks:

andbull;If campfires are allowed where you are camping, extinguish them completely.

andbull;Use care when barbecuing, keeping the ground under and around the barbecue clear of vegetation and away from combustible material or structures.

andbull;If you must smoke when in the forest, please use an ash tray and make sure the cigarette is out when done.

Nothing can ruin Independence Day, or any summertime activity, faster than ignoring these tips.

If you have any questions about burning or want more information about fire-safe procedures, call your local fire department or the Coos Forest Protective Association at 541-672-6507.