Campfire safety rules reviewed at campgrounds

Recent campground fire leads to safety review

Tracy Lehr, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Reporter, tracy@keyt.com
POSTED: 05:26 PM PDT May 29, 2013    UPDATED: 12:00 AM PDT May 29, 2013 
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LAKE CASITAS, Calif. -

In the wake of the White fire that started in a Santa Barbara County campground, many campgrounds are reviewing their campfire safety measures.

Lake Casitas public affairs manager Ron Merckling said his staff  is proactive on several fronts when it comes to fire safety in the Lake Casitas Recreation Area.

Merckling said the lake has an aggressive weed abatement program that makes campsites safe.

Signs posted at the front gate highlight fire safety requirements.

No open fires are allowed in the park.   All fires need to be within contained fire-pit rings or within an approved stand-up barbecue, such as a Weber barbecue.

Hot coal boxes are provided for disposing of burnt coals.

Campgrounds' staff members said coals should never be put in trash cans.

Merckling said, "We strongly urge all campers to be responsible with their fires. That means never leave a fire unattended, which includes not falling asleep with a live camp fire."

He said, "Fires are a great part of the camping experience, but campers need to be especially vigilant during dry conditions."

Park Service officers will issue citations for unattended fires and makeshift fire pits.