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Technically, summer is still nearly four weeks off (the summer solstice occurs at 9:04 p.m. Ketchikan time on June 20). But everybody knows, especially in view of the glorious weather we have enjoyed this week, that summer fun starts with Memorial Day weekend.
That involves lots of time outdoors if we can manage it — fishing, camping, grilling, building bonfires on the beach, and more.
Naturally, the state fire marshal would like us to guard against fire in our recreational endeavors.
He came up with a list of tips to guard against fire, beginning with one that holds true indoors and out, all year long: Don’t let children get their hands on matches or lighters. We don’t want them hurting themselves or starting fires.
But sometimes we adults start fires on purpose. In those cases, Fire Marshal Kelly Nicolello says:
Don’t use flammable liquids to start camp fires — and keep the fire small and manageable, at least 15 feet away from combustibles such as tents.
Don’t leave fires unattended.
Put fires out completely before leaving an area.
When we’re barbecuing, there are several suggested precautions, too: Check for leaks before lighting a propane barbecue. If using a charcoal grill, dispose of the used charcoal in a metal container and soak it with water before dumping.
Don’t barbecue indoors.
And because it’s a holiday coming up, don’t use fireworks where they aren’t allowed, and don’t let kids use them without adult supervision.
If you see an unattended fire, or anything Nicolello calls “unsafe fire activities,” keep an eye on the fire and call authorities.
As a police sergeant used to say on television, be careful out there.