Large crowds are common at many national forest recreation areas over holiday weekends and USDA Forest Service personnel remind visitors to put safety first and recreate responsibly.
Please heed warning signs when enjoying outdoor activities and follow safety precautions such as these:
- Water Safety – Choose swimming areas carefully and ensure small children are not left unattended. When boating, ensure all passengers wear a life jacket and look out for other boaters and swimmers.
- Severe weather – Weather conditions can change rapidly. Monitor weather before and during outdoor activities.
- Wildlife – Do not feed wildlife, keep a safe distance when encountering wildlife and do not disturb their habitat. Clean up food or garbage around your camp or picnic site.
- Hiking – Stay on marked trails. Don’t hike alone. Plan for emergencies such as becoming lost and bring along extra food, clothing, and water.
- Be fire safe – Keep fires small and never leave them unattended. Ensure firepits are cold to the touch before leaving.
- Driving – Use caution when traveling though areas that are heavily congested. Regulations are enforced for the protection of visitors and natural resources.
- Fireworks – Leave fireworks to the professionals. Fireworks are prohibited in developed recreation areas and dangerous in other parts of the forest. Open spaces tend to dry out quickly and fireworks could start a wildfire.
- Alcohol – To ensure a family-friendly environment, alcoholic beverages are prohibited in many areas of the forest including campgrounds and many day-use sites.
Please visit www.fs.usda.gov/visit/know-before-you-go for more information on staying safe in all activities in the outdoors.
Find information on the status of recreation areas and facilities at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/currentclosures . Forest Service offices are closed on Friday, July 3, for the Independence Day holiday.