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Campfire Safety Tips

Please be vigilant to follow these guidelines, and share them with others!

  • Check fire regulations: Before planning a campfire, familiarize yourself with the local fire regulations and any fire bans or restrictions that may be in place. Follow these guidelines strictly to ensure you are compliant with the rules.
  • Choose the right location: Select a designated fire pit or an area that is clear of flammable materials, at least 10 feet away from trees, shrubs, tents, or any other combustible items. Look for a spot with bare soil or rocks to minimize the risk of the fire spreading.
  • Clear the area: Clear the surrounding area of leaves, grass, and debris. Remove any overhanging branches or low-lying vegetation that could catch fire easily. Create a clear space of at least three meters around the fire pit.
  • Prepare the fire pit: If there is an existing fire pit, ensure it is clean and free of any flammable material. If no fire pit exists, dig a shallow pit about one foot deep and enclose it with rocks. This helps contain the fire and prevents its spread.
  • Gather proper firewood: Use only local firewood, as transporting wood from other areas can introduce invasive insects or diseases. Collect dry wood from the ground or purchase it locally. Avoid using green or freshly cut wood, as it produces more smoke and sparks.
  • Keep the fire small: Build a small fire that you can easily control. A large fire can quickly get out of hand and spread to surrounding vegetation. A smaller fire also produces less smoke, which is better for air quality.
  • Monitor the weather conditions: Check the weather forecast and avoid making a fire during windy or dry conditions. Wind can quickly spread sparks, and dry conditions increase the risk of a fire getting out of control.
  • Never leave the fire unattended: Always have a responsible adult present to monitor the fire. Never leave the campfire unattended, even for a short period. Ensure there is a way to extinguish the fire quickly if needed.
  • Keep water and tools nearby: Have a bucket of water, a shovel, and a fire extinguisher nearby. These tools can help you control and extinguish the fire if necessary. Use the water to douse the fire completely before leaving the area.
  • Extinguish the fire properly: When you’re done with the campfire, carefully pour water over the fire, ensuring all embers and coals are completely extinguished. Stir the ashes with a shovel to ensure all remaining hot spots are cooled.
  • Leave no trace: After the fire is extinguished and the ashes are cool to the touch, remove any remaining debris from the fire pit. Scatter the cool ashes in the surrounding area away from the campsite, following the principles of “Leave No Trace.”

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy a campfire while minimizing the risk of starting a forest fire. It is crucial to prioritize safety and be mindful of the potential consequences that even a small fire can have on the surrounding environment.