Facts, Tips, and How-To’s
Campfires are the nation’s leading cause of children’s camping injuries, and the primary cause of forest fires.
Four out of five forest fires are started by people, according to the US Forest Service.
More than 6.9 million acres of land burned as a result of wildfires in 2002.
In 2000, one out of every five person-caused forest fire was started by an out of control campfire.
A campfire is a key element of camping, here are a few simple steps to make maintaining your campfire easier:
- Keep your campfire to a manageable size.
- Never use gasoline to start a campfire.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Make sure children are supervised when they are around a campfire.
- Select a location that is downwind and away from your camper or tent.
- Never put glass in a campfire, it doesn’t always melt away.
- Aluminum cans do not burn, and inhaling aluminum dust can be harmful to your lungs.
- Campfires may be restricted in the summer, so before building one, check with rangers or the campground office to find out.
Maybe you don’t have a ParknPool fire ring, here’s how to build your own from scratch.
- Choose a spot that’s downwind protected, and at least 15 feet from your tent or camper.
- Clear a 10 ft. diameter around the site, and remove all grass, twigs and leaves. DON’T forget to make sure there aren’t any limbs overhanging.
- Dig a pit in the dirt about a foot deep.
- Use rocks and make a circle around the pit.
- Now, your campfire pit is ready for preparation.
Preparing your fire pit:
- Fill the pit with small pieces of dry wood.
- Always place your unused firewood upwind away from your fire.
- Keep a bucket of water and a shovel nearby at all times.
A blazing campfire is a responsibility, and it is your job to properly extinguish your campfire so that future campers will do the same.
When you are ready to put out your fire, follow these guidelines:
- If possible, allow your wood to burn completely to ash.
- LOTS of water should be poured on your fire, drown ALL embers (a glowing fragment from a fire), not just the red ones.
- Make sure you pour water on the fire until the hissing sound stops.
- Stir the campfire ashes and embers with a shovel.
- Remove any embers by scraping all of the sticks and logs.
- Stir and make sure everything is wet, and that they are also cold to the touch.
- If water is not available, use dirt. Mix enough dirt with the embers, and continue adding and stirring until the remains are cool.
REMEMBER: DO NOT bury a fire, for the fire will continue to slowly burn and could catch roots on fire that will eventually get to the surface and cause the start of a wildfire.
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