Come Sunday, it will be one year since a Vancouver, Wash. teenager tossed a firecracker into a ravine and set the Columbia River Gorge ablaze.
Let's try to do better this year.
Once again, it's a smoking hot summer. Literally. The dry heat has fueled one of the West Coast's worst wildfire seasons in recent memory—with 292,266-acres currently burning in Oregon alone.
It's not all climate change's fault though. According to the Oregon Department of Forestry, 74 percent, or 593 of the 803 fires burning on ODF-protected lands this year were started by humans.
Paul Loikith, an assistant professor of geography at Portland State University, also notes that extreme smoke conditions are variable, and while Oregon's baseline temperature in undoubtedly rising, there's no reason to believe this summer is the new normal.
Still, ODF would like to avoid further scorching state forests. On its Twitter today, the agency put out a warning to Labor Day vacationers, outlining when and where fires are available.
"Campfires are either prohibited or only allowed in safe, designated campgrounds with established fire pits," the agency tweeted, linking to a map that shows where fires are restricted.
ODF also offered a few fire prevent tips: Don't throw cigarettes out the window, get your car exhaust checked before road-tripping, don't idle your car or target shoot on dry grass and call and report any fires that you do spot.
And, of course, don't follow the example of the West Linn man who earlier this month sparked a four-acre fire by trying to get rid of a yellow jacket nest with gasoline, oil and a lighter.
Instead, think of that poor Vancouver teen, who must pay more than $36 million in restitution as part of his punishment for igniting the gorge fire.
You don't have $36 million. Just stay away from the fireworks.