Officials urge caution with campfires, cigarettes as White Mountains fires burn

  • This photo from Tuesday night, Oct. 3, shows the fire burning on Dilly Cliffs near Woodstock. Courtesy

Monitor staff
Friday, October 20, 2017

A second wildlife has broken out in the White Mountain National Forest; while mostly contained, fire officials are asking people to be cautious because of continued dry weather.

Forest officials said the Dilly Cliff fire, which covered more than 70 acres, has been contained but “continues to burn in isolated pockets in the interior.” On Thursday, the Spring Brook Fire off Highway 16 burned approximately 7.5 acres, and a fire crew remained there to look for hot spots.

“With multiple active fires in the White Mountain National Forest and the potential for new starts in the coming days and weeks, the Forest’s fire resources are being spread thin,” the forest service said in a press release. “Warmer temperatures and windy conditions will continue to create elevated fire potential through the weekend.”

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows much of New Hamsphire as “abnormally dry,” the first of five stages in the drought rating system.

Fall is often a bad time for wildfires, because leaves falling from trees create fuel on the ground, and the bare trees allow the sunlight to reach the ground and dry them out.

The forest service cautioned people to be careful with campfires, saying they are one of the leading causes of wildfires.

“Completely extinguish a fire with sufficient dousing and covering with (leaf free dirt before leaving the campsite. Remember: if it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave,” the agency said.

They also noted discarded cigarettes often start wildfires. “Never simply discard a cigarette on the ground or throw it out a car window.”

Forecasts predict rain by early next week, but elevated fire danger is predicted until snowfall.