A wildfire in the Blue Hills Reservation this spring brought attention to the importance of fire safety while enjoying outdoor adventures. As caretakers of these stunning landscapes, it’s essential for visitors to understand and follow fire safety guidelines. It’s the best way to ensure everyone’s safety and the preservation of this local treasure.

Let’s review some fire safety tips for visitors in the Blue Hills Reservation, along with rules and regulations set by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and state fire authorities.

  1. Plan Ahead for Fun. Before you head into the outdoors, take a moment to check the current fire danger level and any associated restrictions. You can easily find updates on fire conditions and regulations on the DCR website or by reaching out to park authorities. To reach out to DCR about fire risk, visitors can call Headquarters at (617) 698-1802.
  2. Be Aware of Fire Bans. During times of high fire risk, grilling may be prohibited to keep everyone safe. Respect these bans, and find other ways to enjoy the outdoors without open flames.You’ll find fire ban info on the mass.gov webpage devoted to the Blue Hills Reservation.
  3. Stub It Out. If you’re a smoker, make sure to properly dispose of your smoking materials in designated receptacles. This will help keep cigarette butts from causing any accidental sparks!
  4. Check Your Equipment. Keep an eye on equipment that could potentially spark, like grills. Make sure they’re in good working order, and use them with care to keep from starting wildfires. Check with DCR on where grilling is allowed in the Blue Hills Reservation. And, here are safe grilling tips from the Massachusetts Department of Fire Safety.
  5. Be a Buddy, Report Suspicious Activity. If you see smoke or unattended flames, don’t hesitate to tell park authorities or emergency services. We’re all in this together, and your attention to these warning signals can help keep the Blue Hills safe and sound for visitors and inhabitants alike. If you see smoke in the park, call 911 and DCR 24 hour radio dispatch at (508) 820-1428.

Remember, fire safety doesn’t have to be a downer! By following these friendly tips and embracing related rules and regulations, we can all enjoy the wonders of the Blue Hills Reservation while keeping it safe for generations to come.

Photo: “Blue Hills Fire 2,” by Ian Grigorio, Milton