There were 78,792 wildfires in the U.S.A in the year 2009. These fires affected 5,921,786 acres. If nothing else, these numbers should bring home to RVers and campers everywhere that wildfire prevention is not a joke and it is not to be taken lightly. Smoky the Bear says, “Only you can prevent wildfires.” This is the premise every RV owner should work off of when traveling in a used travel trailer.
No matter how comfortable an RVer is with the RVing lifestyle made possible by a used travel trailer, it is important that the basics of fire safety and wildfire prevention are reiterated regularly. Before you head out on the road in your used travel trailer for your next trip, remember the basics:
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.
- “Close enough” is not good enough when putting out a fire.
- Deposit cigarette butts in appropriate receptacles.
- Follow fire safety rules for any campsite.
- Always use existing fire pits when possible.
- Build campfires at least 15 feet away from any tent walls, shrubs, trees, etc.
- Watch for overhanging branches that could pose a danger.
- Dig a pit to keep control of your fire.
- Comply with local regulations when burning debris and use the proper equipment.
9 out of 10 wildfires are caused by humans. This statistic is appalling when considering the ease with which most fires could be avoided. Simply following the rules as set down by the campground or region and sticking to appropriate fire safety guidelines could drastically decrease the number of acres destroyed in any given year. RVers should always be aware of fire restrictions in areas through which they are traveling and should never start a fire if unaware of potential restrictions in the area.
In addition to being aware of the restrictions for using fire in any area being used as a campsite, used travel trailer owners should be aware of the dangers. A map of currently burning wildfires can be accessed online anytime. For more detailed information on currently burning wildfires, RVers can access The Incident Reporting System. Before traveling in an area, RVers should contact the local authorities to receive information on any current fire restrictions. This is especially important if RVers are planning on utilizing a fire on the campsite or enjoying any fire related activities like outdoor cooking or fireworks.
The used travel trailer offers the opportunity for spontaneous travel and fun adventures on the road, but just as the RV requires proper maintenance in order for the passengers to reap the rewards of the vehicle, the regions RVers travel through require a certain user responsibility. Preventing wildfire is much simpler than fighting them once they’re out of control and once a wildfire sweeps through a region, the damage has been done. As Smoky the Bear said, “Only you can prevent wildfires.” That’s a lot of responsibility, but fulfilling this particular responsibility doesn’t actually require a lot of effort. RVers should consider the ramifications of their actions and remember that even the smallest fire left uncared for could result in large repercussions for the area.