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A staff reportNorth Carolina Emergency Management has issued a vital reminder as the nation observes National Burn Awareness Week: gasoline belongs in cars, not campfires. The agency is emphasizing the dangers of using accelerants such as gasoline, kerosene, or aerosol sprays to start fires, urging residents to prioritize safety when enjoying outdoor activities.As the allure of outdoor adventures beckons, it’s crucial to understand the potential hazards associated with improper fire-starting practices. While the temptation to expedite the process with accelerants might seem convenient, the risks far outweigh the benefits. Not only can the misuse of accelerants lead to uncontrollable flames and rapid-fire spread, but it also poses significant threats to personal safety and the surrounding environment.According to North Carolina Emergency Management, maintaining a safe distance between flammable liquids and materials from fire pits is paramount. Even a momentary lapse in judgment or a slight mishap can escalate into a catastrophic incident, putting lives and property at risk. By adhering to proper safety protocols, individuals can mitigate the likelihood of accidents and prevent potentially devastating consequences.Campfire safety extends beyond the act of ignition; it encompasses responsible stewardship of natural resources and ecosystems. Uncontrolled fires resulting from accelerant misuse can ravage landscapes, endanger wildlife habitats, and contribute to environmental degradation. Preserving the pristine beauty of North Carolina’s outdoor spaces requires a collective commitment to mindful practices and sustainable behaviors.In addition to refraining from using accelerants, North Carolina Emergency Management encourages outdoor enthusiasts to observe the following guidelines:1. Use designated fire rings or pits: Utilize established fire pits whenever possible, as they provide a contained and safer environment for campfires. 2. Clear the area: Remove any combustible materials, such as dry leaves, branches, and vegetation, from the vicinity of the fire pit to prevent accidental ignition.3. Keep a water source nearby: Have a readily accessible water source, such as a bucket or hose, to extinguish the fire in case of emergencies or when leaving the campsite.4. Monitor the fire: Never leave a fire unattended, and ensure it is completely extinguished before leaving the area or going to sleep.5. Educate others: Share fire safety knowledge with friends, family, and fellow outdoor enthusiasts to promote a culture of responsible camping practices.By fostering a collective commitment to fire safety and environmental stewardship, North Carolina residents can enjoy the beauty of the state’s natural landscapes while minimizing the risk of harm. National Burn Awareness Week serves as a poignant reminder to prioritize safety and mindfulness when engaging in outdoor activities, ensuring that cherished memories are created responsibly and sustainably.As North Carolinians embrace the spirit of adventure this season, let us unite in safeguarding our communities, natural resources, and beloved outdoor spaces from the threat of wildfires. Together, we can kindle the flames of responsible recreation while extinguishing the risks of reckless behavior, ensuring a safer and more enjoyable experience for all.

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