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Ensuring fire safety at Lake Mead

At Lake Mead National Recreation Area, our mission extends beyond preserving the natural beauty and recreational opportunities.

We are equally committed to ensuring the safety of all visitors and protecting the park from potential hazards, including structural and wildland fires.

The park just enacted summer fire restrictions this month. It also experienced a major fire at Las Vegas Boat Harbor on June 9.

As such, we thought it might be a good time to remind everyone in the community of fire prevention measures we can all follow.

Wildland fire safety

Wildfires pose a significant threat to the natural environment and visitor safety at Lake Mead. The arid climate and dry vegetation create ideal conditions for wildfires, which can spread rapidly and unpredictably. To mitigate this risk, the National Park Service enforces strict regulations regarding campfires, open flames and going into next month, fireworks.

“With the fourth of July holiday around the corner I would like to remind the public that fireworks are prohibited at Lake Mead,” said Tiege Downes, fire management officer. “If you are going to barbecue or have a campfire at the lake, fires and cooking need to be done within a campfire ring and be 100 feet away from brush.”

Visitors are also advised that campfires are only allowed in designated fire pits at developed campgrounds and picnic areas.

Fires should never be left unattended, and they must be completely extinguished before leaving the site. Everyone is encouraged to use water and stir the ashes until they are cool to the touch.

This simple, yet crucial step can prevent a smoldering fire from re-igniting and causing a wildfire.

Safety for trailers, boats, and campers

Fire safety extends beyond campfires. Trailers, boats, and campers equipped with cooking facilities or portable grills also require careful attention to fire safety protocols. Visitors are reminded to maintain a safe distance between their cooking equipment and flammable materials, including dry grass and leaves.

As well, propane tanks and fuel containers must be stored securely and checked regularly for leaks. Fire extinguishers should be readily accessible in trailers, boats, or campers. It is also vital to ensure that fire extinguishers are fully charged and in good working condition. In the event of a small fire, a quick response with a fire extinguisher can prevent the situation from escalating.

Prohibited items and activities

As mentioned, to further reduce the risk of wildfires, do not use fireworks at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. This includes sparklers and other small pyrotechnics, which can easily ignite dry vegetation.

Fireworks are not only dangerous, but also prohibited within the park boundaries. Violations can result in fines and other penalties.

The use of glass bottles and Styrofoam containers is also restricted within the park. In addition to being unsightly trash, broken glass can concentrate sunlight and ignite fires, while Styrofoam is highly flammable and difficult to extinguish once it catches fire. We encourage visitors to use alternative materials, such as metal or plastic containers, which are safer and more environmentally friendly.

Collaborative efforts for safety

Everyone visiting Lake Mead National Recreation Area plays a crucial role in promoting fire safety. Knowledge and proactive fire prevention are key to ensuring a safe, fire-free visit to the park.

Whether following safe cooking practices in trailers, taking the time to properly extinguish campfires, or simply keeping an eye out for potential fire hazards, everyone’s efforts can make a big impact.

As we move forward into the summer, let us work together to safeguard the park, and the community, from the devastating effects of fires.

Your support and vigilance are invaluable in this collective effort.

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