By Melissa Wynn
1) Choosing Your Fire Site
- DO NOT build a fire at a site in dry, dangerous conditions. DO NOT build a fire if the campground or area does not allow campfires.
- Check to be sure than burning is allowed on the days of your trip. Campfires are often prohibited on high risk days.
- Choose a site that is at least fifteen feet away from your tent or camper, shrubs, grass or trees. Also beware of low-hanging branches overhead.
2) Making Your Fire Pit
- Clear your pit area down to the dirt, leaving a ten foot circle of bare ground surrounding your fire.
- Dig your pit about one foot deep, but not too big. Huge campfires can easily get out of control.
- Surround your pit with rocks to create a barrier.
- Store your firewood downwind from your fire pit.
- Keep a shovel and bucket of water nearby.
3) Building Your Campfire
- Gather three types of wood
Tinder (small twigs, pine cones, pine needles, dry grass)
Kindling (bigger twigs, small chunks of deadwood)
Fuel (larger pieces of dry wood)
- Loosely pile tinder in the center of the fire pit.
- Add a few pieces of kindling .
- Light the tinder with a match or lighter. Dispose of matches IN the fire pit. Add more tinder as your fire takes off.
- Next, add kindling and firewood to keep the fire going.
4) Putting Out Your Campfire
- Allow the fire to burn out completely.
- Pour lots of water on the fire. Soak ALL the embers, red and black coals.
- Keep soaking the pit until all hissing sounds stop.
- Stir the wet campfire pit with a shovel or big stick.
- Stir and make sure everything is wet and all embers are cold to the touch.
- DO NOT bury the fire as it can continue to smolder and could catch roots on fire that will eventually get to the surface and start a wildfire.
- Make sure you pit has quit smoking.