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Campfire Safety: A Few Tips Worth Reviewing

Pretty please: Be careful with campfires this holiday weekend. Throughout the summer, too. We're beggin' ya. Summer will be that much sweeter if no additional wildfires become headline news in 2011.

Some tips worth remembering from the REI Expert Advice article Campfire Basics

• Know local fire regulations in advance. It's smart to call ahead to someone (campground manager; local forest district; backcountry ranger office) to learn if any fire restrictions are in place.

• Gather only downed wood (preferably smaller-diameter pieces, which more easily burn down to ash). Collect wood far from your site so the area around you does not become denuded. Some woody material on the ground, allowed to naturally decay, boosts the health of an ecosystem. Plus: Never snap branches off living trees.

• Never leave a campfire unattended.

• Before departing, douse a fire with ample water, stir the ashes and pour on additional water. Make sure the entire fire site is cool to the touch. Get the kids in on this. Most kids think it's hilarious to dump excessive amounts of water on anything.

• Begin the fire-extinguishing process long before you vacate your campsite. This gives you time to observe the fire site and make sure no hidden hot zones are lurking in some unseen spot.

Thanks for being mindful when it comes to fire safety.

Posted on at 11:38 AM

Tagged: campfires and safety

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Also, remove the layer of pine needle duff from around the fire ring and keep lots of water handy just in case. It only takes one ember to pop out to get a fire going outside of the ring and if it's windy you will have your hands full in a hurry.

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T.D. Wood Staff Member

Good addition, BP. Always clear any easily combustible material from the broad perimeter of a fire site, and be watchful for large airborne embers that float out of the flames and drift into the unknown. Jump on 'em if they land in some potential tinder. That's solid advice. Thanks for pointing that out.


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