Fire Safety Awareness

Campfire Safety Tips


No matter how much you may love to camp, it just can’t be enjoyed properly without a warm, crackling campfire. By the fire is where you will roast marshmallows and tell stories, stay warm and protected from the cold and cook delicious campfire meals. You just can’t camp without it. Nonetheless, any time there is fire involved, extra precautions need to be carried out to make sure it is kept under control and properly extinguished. Here are campfire safety tips, courtesy of Smokey the Bear, for you to keep in mind on your next big camping trip.

Preparing and Maintaining a Safe Fire.

  • If you are not using a metal fire ring to contain your campfire, you should dig a pit that is away from your camping equipment, low hanging branches or bushy areas. A ten-foot area of open space around the pit is ideal.
  • Next you will want to circle the pit with rocks to ensure your fire will be well contained and secure.
  • If you have any extra wood on hand, stack it upwind from the fire, at a safe distance.
  • Before you start your fire, fill a bucket of water to keep nearby along with a shovel, in case you have to put it out quickly.
  • Discard used matches directly into the fire. Never toss them onto the ground or into some bushes where they can reignite and burn dry leaves and twigs.
  • Once your fire is built, add large pieces or dry wood to allow it to burn steadily, but be careful not to build your fire up too large. A manageable size will not be difficult to quickly extinguish should you need to.
  • Always make sure your fire is well supervised, especially when children or pets are present.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended.
  • It’s OK to pick up dried twigs and sticks from the ground for kindling, but you should never cut live branches from live trees for burning.
  • Never burn anything other than your wood and kindling.

Extinguishing Your Campfire

  • If it’s possible, you should allow the wood to burn completely to ash. If your embers are still smoldering spread them apart.
  • Pour enough water over your fire to drown every ember – not just the ones that are still red. An easy way to tell if you have properly soaked the embers is by listening for the hissing sound to stop.
  • Use your shovel to stir the ashes and embers with soil and make sure everything is wet and cool to the touch before leaving.
  • If you have no available water, you can gradually mix dirt or sand with the ashes and embers until your fire is out, but never bury your fire. It can smolder and start a wildfire.

Follow those simple tips the next time you are building and putting out your campfire and you will easily ensure the safety of your fellow campers and the forests around you.



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