thank-you-gcco-header-emailLong weekends. Sunny weather. Open water.

It’s the start of Canada’s most popular camping season and many of us are excited to get outside and explore nature. Just a friendly reminder to please camp with care.

Our hearts are with those affected by the devastating wildfires in Alberta. Our thanks go out to those who have been working to contain the fires to save lives and conserve forest ecosystems and community infrastructure. We are proud of the generosity of the many Canadians who have donated to support the evacuees. The wildfire is now spreading into Saskatchewan and while no communities are currently at risk the air quality has been affected by smoke. With dry conditions in many areas the risks of additional forest fires are ongoing and fire bans may be in place.

If you are camping, please take care out there!

• Find out if there are open fire, campfire, fireworks or barbeque bans in the area you are exploring and follow all regulations and protocols.
• If you are driving to the campsite, park on gravel instead of very dry grass.
• If campfires are allowed, please clear the area around your fire of any flammable materials and never leave your fire unattended.
• Don’t burn if it’s too windy.
• When it’s time to extinguish the flames pour water on your fire to make sure it’s completely out.
• Find out if there are any smoking policies that have been put in place and follow the guidelines carefully. If smoking is permitted, please make sure any cigarette butts are completely and safely extinguished.

There are many more tips for camping with care, and we thank you in advance for helping to conserve and protect the environment by following best practices in your areas. The Canadian Wildlife Federation has lots of great resources and incentives to help you enjoy the outdoors. For example, if you visit our website and Commit to Camp you’ll receive our free guide to Canada’s greatest hikes and be entered to win camping gear. Our goal is to get one million Canadians camping by 2017 and you can help. Share your adventures, photos and eco tips with us using #GreatCanadianCampout.  You can also encourage other campers to be careful with fire by sharing this blog.