All it takes is one spark
Nothing beats roasted marshmallows and scary ghost stories around a crackling fire on a warm summer evening. But with this camping tradition, comes the need for increased safety. Keep these points in mind to minimize campfire dangers.
- Never build a campfire on a windy day. Sparks and embers can travel quite a distance and could set an unintentional fire.
- Learn how to safely start a fire without the use of flammable liquids including gasoline, diesel fuel, and lighter fluid.
- Always use a fire pit or build a circle of rocks around your fire to keep it from spreading. Most provincial parks provide a metal fire pit on each campsite.
- Don't make your fire too big and keep a 6-10 foot clearance around it.
- Do not start a fire under low hanging branches. If you are permitted to, trim the branches around the fire before lighting.
- Don't keep spare firewood too close to the fire - make sure it is upwind and far enough away so sparks don't fly into it.
- Keep children and pets away from the fire and never leave them unsupervised.
- Teach children how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches on fire.
- Make sure your camping gear is set up far enough away from the campfire.
- Always make sure you can put out your fire if it gets out of hand. Keep water, a shovel or a fire extinguisher nearby.
- make sure your fire is completely out before retiring. All it takes is one spark for things to go wrong.
- An abandoned campfire or one built without safe clearance can turn a small fire into a dangerous and fast-moving blaze.
- Finally, as with any even moderately hazardous activity, avoid or minimize the use of any intoxicating substances. There are far too many instances of property damage, injury or death resulting from the effects of alcohol or drugs in combination with fire.
Be fire smart and stay safe.