It’s not just our lives and homes that are threatened by wildfires. Deer, coyotes, birds and other animals suffer, too: Thick smoke disorients them, irritates their eyes and makes it hard to breathe. Some may try to outrun the flames. Others may try to shelter in burrows or under rocks. Those with babies may not escape.
The recent fire that led to evacuations on Mount Lemmon began near a popular shooting area, prompting authorities to advise target shooters to avoid areas with flammable materials such as dry grass. We can also help protect animals and their homes by reporting unattended fires, extinguishing campfires and fire pits, keeping vehicles off dry grass, not tossing cigarettes from cars or trucks and checking weather conditions before burning trash or leaves.
Lightning triggers most naturally occurring wildfires, but thousands are ignited every year by fireworks. With the approach of Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, the precaution that we can take cannot be clearer.