TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)-The U.S. Forest Service-Sawtooth National Forest is warning people that the fire danger in southern Idaho is high.

Sawtooth National Forest

Forest officials say due to prolonged dry weather the fire danger in the area has increased. The current condition means that dead fuels, like dry grass and brush, can catch fire easily. Also, camp fires that are not watched carefully can escape and fires can spread fast. The public is being asked to be very careful while camping on public land and maintain and extinguish all campfires.

If you start a fire, even accidentally, you could be held responsible for the cost to fight the fire. To report a fire, call 911 or the South Idaho Dispatch Center at 208-732-726.

The Sawtooth National Forest provided these tips on fire safety:
· Never leave a campfire unattended. Always add water, stir it, and make sure all embers are out. If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave!

· Always use a campfire ring or fire pan when building a campfire.

· Recreational shooting? Take precautions! Never shoot into dry vegetation and always make sure you’re shooting in a safe location. Be aware that shooting of exploding targets is not allowed on National Forest System lands in the Intermountain Region.

· Refrain from smoking in wooded, grassy, or brushy areas. Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished before leaving the area.

· Fireworks are illegal on public lands: every forest, every campsite, every day. Never light fireworks in the woods.

· Ensure you vehicle is properly maintained, with nothing dragging on the ground. A loose safety chain or dangling muffler can send a shower of sparks into dry vegetation.

· Keep vehicles off dry grass. The catalytic converter may contact the vegetation and start a fire.

· Always carry a shovel and fire extinguisher.

· Know before you go. Always check with your local Ranger Station prior to your trip to get the most up to date information on fire danger and fire restrictions for the area.

· It is best to preplan your route and share that information with people that are not on the trip with you. Having predetermined check-in points with reliable methods of communication are critical to let your friend and family know where you are should someone need to contact you.

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