Keeping Your Campfire Safebeing there // on Thursday July 7, 2016
One of the most common activities at church camp is having a campfire. Many activities take place around a campfire, including singing, telling stories and roasting marshmallows on sticks to make s’mores.
Campfires, with proper safeguards in place, can be a very safe activity; however, each year campfires are one of the leading human causes of wildfires. If the wind comes up, it could potentially blow sparks into the surrounding grass or fallen tree needles, and result in hundreds of acres burned. For prevention of wildfires from campfires, the following safety procedures should be followed:
- First and foremost, check the local weather conditions for the area, and never build a fire on dry, windy days.
- Start the fire in a level area that is at least 15 feet away from shrubs, trees or other combustible materials. Also, beware of overhanging tree branches, dry grass and forest floor litter.
- The fire pit should have a ten foot circle of bare soil that is free of grass, twigs, leaves, etc. that has a shallow pit in the center.
- Circle the fire pit with rocks, stones or some other form of fire-resistant material that will shelter the fire from the wind.
- Don’t burn aerosol cans, as these are pressurized and can explode, and never put glass in the fire pit, as it can heat up and shatter.
- Never leave the fire unattended.
- Keep a shovel, rake, axe and bucket of water nearby for firefighting purposes.
- Before leaving, completely extinguish the fire. Drown it in water, and ensure all sticks and charred materials are wet and cold to the touch.
For a more in depth look at campfire safety, please visit the Smokey Bear website.