Only you can prevent wildfires.– Smokey Bear
What an honor to have our campfire build & photo featured as your example of how to practice fire safety! Thank you for helping teach and inspire future generations to preserve & protect America’s landscapes.
Campfires are an essential part of the camping experience. Stories are told around them, s’mores are roasted on them, bodies are warmed by them and memories are created. The best way to keep those memories from becoming a horror story is to follow some simple and important campfire safety tips.
Also, it is very important to keep in mind that in some cases campfires may not be allowed. Check in with the local area to determine if there are fire restrictions in place where you plan to visit.
Some fires have natural causes, but people cause an overwhelming number of brush, grass and forest fires. Most of these fires are accidental and are due to the careless disposal of hot embers, ash or cigarettes. Do your part to stay fire safe!
Four Tips for Campfire Safety
- Pick Your Spot Wisely: Use existing fire circles or pits if available. Do not build a fire in dry or windy conditions, especially if there are fire restrictions in place (check with local authorities). Build fires at least 15 feet away from tent walls, shrubs, or other flammable materials.
- Prepare Your Pit: Choose a spot for your campfire that is downwind from your tent and gear, and protected from wind gusts. Clear a 10-foot-wide diameter area around your site, and make sure there are no limbs or branches hanging over your pit. Always circle the pit with rocks, or use an existing fire ring.
- Build A Campfire: Once you have a prepared pit, you are ready to build the campfire. It is recommended to use three types of wood. Tinder, which is made of small twigs, dry leaves or grass, will get the fire started initially. Kindling, consisting of twigs smaller than one inch around, will help to light the larger pieces of wood. Fuel—the large pieces of wood—will provide the heat and sustained flames once the tinder and kindling are consumed.
- This is the most important step! EXTINGUISH THE FIRE: Campers need to properly maintain and extinguish campfires when going to bed or leaving the area. If possible, let the campfire burn down to ashes. Pour water on the fire to drown all embers, not just the red ones. Once this is done, stir everything in the pit with a shovel and test for heat with the back of your hand.