15 Campfire Safety Tips

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Published Saturday, July 22, 2017

Approximately 90 percent of all wildfires are caused by people.  One of the most common causes is unattended campfires.  Emergency responders need your help in keeping our forests and campgrounds safe for everyone.  There are a few key steps to making and maintaining a safe campfire.

Pick a Safe Spot

  • Do not build a fire at a site in hazardous or dry conditions. 
  • Check before building your campfire to make sure the campground, forest or local area allows campfires.
  • Use a fire pit or fire ring at your campground or camp site.
  • Pick a spot that is at least fifteen feet away from your tent walls, trees or anything else that could catch on fire.

Maintain Your Campfire

  • Keep your fire to a manageable size.
  • Provide constant supervision to children and pets near the fire.
  • Never leave the campfire unattended...even for a short time.

Extinguish Your Campfire

  • Use the "drown, stir and feel" method.
  • Allow the wood to burn completely to ash.
  • Pour lots of water on the fire and drown all of the embers.
  • Pour water on the fire until it stops hissing.
  • Stir the campfire ashes and embers with a shovel.
  • Scrape the sticks and logs to remove any remaining embers.
  • Stir and make sure everything is wet and cold to the touch.
  • Do not leave your campground or campsite until the embers are cool to the touch.

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