Fire officials offer reminders for hikers

Posted at: 03/25/2013 10:01 PM
Updated at: 03/25/2013 10:16 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

As the fire season ramps up, so does hiking in forests and the bosque.

Fire officials have some important reminders for hikers this fire season.

For some, the picturesque Sandia Foothills is their backyard.

"Making sure we take care of it is really important. Maybe some other people don't appreciate it as much," said Chris Cordova, who lives nearby.

Cordova and his friends went on a hike to see the damage after a small fire started about half-mile from the trail he often travels.

"It's pretty charred,” Cordova describes. “You could tell it goes uphill because of the heat rising. It was a good thing they put it out in time."

With no lightning in sight Sunday night, investigators think someone may have started the fire, either by accident or on purpose.

"Everyone's in the fire mode already," said Karen Takai with the U.S. Forest Service.

Takai urges hikers to take precautions especially during the fire season.

"If I was out here hiking right now, I'd look around and make sure I wasn't seeing any smoke," she advises.

Aside from your personal safety, Takai says it’s also important to know the restrictions of the area you’re hiking in.

Those restriction may be different from place to place and will likely increase the drier it gets.

Camp fires aren’t allowed in the bosque.

But elsewhere, the U.S. Forest Service says one of the biggest issues they see are people who don’t know how to put out a camp fire.

You’re advised to pour water, mix, pour more water, and mix again.

Before you leave the area, you should be able to put your hand over the campfire.