You have probably seen the signs around South Dakota with Smokey Bear telling you that “only you can prevent wildfires.” You may be wondering what exactly you can do to prevent a wildfire from starting in your area.

If you practice the following advice and share it with anyone you participate in these activities with, you could be the one who prevents a peaceful day from turning into a blazing wildfire.

Fireworks

If you ever use fireworks, make sure to only use ones that are permitted by state law. Red Cross advises that on windy nights you should avoid setting off fireworks altogether.

When you do use fireworks, douse any finished ones with water immediately. Always supervise children using fireworks, and consider wetting down any nearby vegetation before setting any off.

Smoking

Wildfires have been started by a single cigarette butt, so make sure to always dispose of yours in a cup of water or some other closed container. If you are a smoker, keep your matches or lighters out of reach of children.

Bonfires and campfires

Avoid starting campfires on windy days. When you are done with the fire, completely douse it and smother it with dirt before you leave the remnants behind.

Whether overnight or for twenty minutes, never leave a campfire unattended. Always keep at least one person who can watch it and make sure it does not go out of control.

You also need to be sure your fire pit is safe and appropriate. You can do this by clearing away all vegetation in the nearby area and then ringing the pit with a sturdy wall of stones.