Memorial Day weekend kicks off the camping season for many people.

That certainly seemed the case by Friday afternoon when Chugach State Park Ranger Tom Crockett said nearly every camping space within the park was full.

The Eklutna Campground was full by Thursday, according to Crockett. Eagle River Campground was out of space by Friday afternoon, and the Bird Creek Campground had just a few spaces remaining in their overflow lot.

The weekend also kicks off the busy season for Park Rangers like Crockett who are actively enforcing the rules. Rangers want people to have fun but also stay safe.

That means no fires-- except in designated fire rings at the camping site.

And, Crockett said, it's very important to lock up food in a vehicle or bear-proof canister overnight and make sure that campsites are free of trash so they don't attract animals.

"Food that's left out, trash that's left out overnight, that is not an uncommon scenario and it's one that we will be patrolling the campgrounds and all the picnic areas for to really enforce that," said Crockett.

Other things that can get you into trouble in a state campground include cutting down trees and shooting off a firearm.

Crockett said it's also important to respect your neighbors.

"Be polite to your neighbors and don't push anyone's boundaries," said Crockett. "We are all out here to have fun and enjoy Alaska."

Crockett reminds people there is also a "quiet time" at state campgrounds that begins at 11 p.m.

Questions or comments about this story? Email reporter Lauren Maxwell.

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