Fire officials are pleading for campers to safely put out their campfires this Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Around the country, abandoned campfires are the leading cause of wildfires. So, how do you know you have successfully put out your campfire?
Julie Anne Overton with the Santa Fe National Forest said often people think they can dump their coffee or their water bottle on the fire and leave.
"You need at least five gallons," Overton said, "you want to pour that water onto the fire until you really get a soupy appearnce." Stir that soup with a tool like a shovel and "don't leave for home untill you can put your hand down there and you are not feeeling any heat," she said.
The northern mountains have seen a lot of moisture and currently forest conditons are pretty good. But Overton said we shouldn't be complacent. The monsoon might come later than normal this year and the forest will keep drying out until then.
Fire officials found eleven abandoned campfires last weekend, down from forty-five the previous weekend. Fireworks and explosives are always prohibited on federal lands.
The Santa Fe National Forest recommends checking out these sources before heading out this weekend: