Parkgoers urged to protect nature, prevent wildfires while enjoying the outdoors

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Whether you’re on public land or in your own backyard, time outdoors has never felt more valuable.

Wildfire prevention program manager Maureen Brooks says everyone has a role in keeping our safe places safe. She encourages parkgoers to find a local park or trail that offers enough space for social distancing.

Brooks says roughly 9 out of 10 wildfires are started by humans and can be prevented. Check for burn bans before starting a fire or burning yard waste at home. If your local regulations allow for campfires, remember to never leave them unattended. 

Brooks says to always plan ahead.

“If they’re camping or boating, and they might be pulling a trailer, one good tip is to be careful how those chains are crossed so that they don’t spark and cause a wildfire,” Brooks said. “When they are going to trailheads to go hiking people may find that the parking areas are full. We’re asking people not to park on the grass, stay in the designated parking areas because the undercarriages of our cars are hot and can spark a wildfire.”   

Brooks says to also plan for alternate locations in case your first choice is busy or has too many people.

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