Up in Smoke? California Wildfire Prevention Guidelines

Another wildfire season is upon us here in the tinderbox Golden State!  After last year’s destructive rampaging blazes, let’s all try a little harder this year to keep our beautiful state arson-free (nocalfirebugs.gov can help you with this problem) and also safe from careless accidents. Here are a few helpful reminders so we can all enjoy a safe summer!

#1  At your unborn child’s reveal party in a state forest or park, please do not use fireworks of any kind to indicate the child’s gender.  All fireworks are illegal on state property and that includes sparklers, aerial bombs, Roman candles, fountains, and even those crystals you pour on a (camp)fire that makes the flames go weird colors.

#2  There is, as you may recall, no smoking allowed anywhere  outside in our entire state.  If you must light up, sit inside your car with the windows fully up and put your butts in your own receptacle.  Under no circumstances should you ever fling them from your vehicle either parked or moving.  Now’s a good time to stop smoking entirely.  Califgoescoldturkey.gov is a site aimed at helping you kick this dangerous habit.   You may also see #3 below to find other personal oral pleasures.

#3  Now that we’ve cleared up the tobacco policy, let’s talk dope.  Reefers, Fat Boys, Bombs, Bifters, Goldens, etc., are NOT to be enjoyed in state parks, forests, or parking lots.  Cannabis in all its other available forms (sprays, vapes, tinctures, cookies, gummy bears, mints, suppositories, etc.) are, of course, completely safe for use anywhere except on our streets and roadways when you are operating a vehicle of any kind (car, motorcycle, bicycle, moped, tricycle, skateboard, elliptical rider, unicycle, Segway, electric cart, pedicab, pod cycle, scooter, or wheel- chair or barrow.)  Flameless is blameless!

#4  No campfires, Golden Staters!  It’s a no-brainer.  On Califdoesntburn.gov you will find long-running videos of lovely flames.  It is recommended that your social group place all phones in a circle around the “fire pit” facing outwards, with all screens “ablaze.”  Enjoy camaraderie without danger with this virtual fire.  Or search on-line for a Zoom fire group.  (Try weirdusezoom.com.)   We know you will miss S’mores, but see #3 above for other fun-friendly options for campfire treats.

#5  Consider giving your state’s inland parks and forests a major break this year.  Off to the beaches you go, where fires are permitted in certain places in contained, state-provided fire rings.  Remember, no tobacco smoking is allowed on state beaches.   However, see #3 above for other satisfying options.

#6  Remember that on state property anywhere, absolutely no sage burning, tiki torches, medieval flares, or other fire-based atmospheric lighting are permitted for your various religious and other personal belief-based ceremonies, rituals, festivals, celebrations, rites, personal expressions, performance art, or orgies.  Flickering battery-operated candles and torches are completely safe and permissible.  Or consider the utter magic of a gathering in the complete darkness that Mother Nature intended for our planet.  See #3 above to heighten the effect of your evening in primal nature.



Eva Meckna is, as her husband always said, an English major gone horribly wrong.  Her work has appeared on Points in Case, Funny-ish and Little Old Lady Comedy.

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