Campfire Safety 101: How To Put A Campfire Out

Whether you’re burning a few logs in a fire pit in your backyard, have the cowboy grill cooking a delicious dinner, or enjoying a classic campfire in the wilderness, it’s essential to know the basics of fire safety. In the right conditions, a small fire can easily get out of control and cause untold damage to surrounding areas. As climate change creates more extreme weather patterns, extended dry periods and minimized snowpack can leave environments prone to wildfire. It’s our duty as caretakers of the land to do everything in our power to mitigate additional fire risks.

 Fire Safety X Fire Pit

Here is a checklist for basic campfire
safety and open fire etiquette. 

Check For Local Fire Restrictions

In many parts of the country, states and local counties will have seasonal fire bans. They will also regularly highlight fire danger levels. You have probably seen these signs while driving through national or state forests near you. The first step in deciding whether it’s safe to have a fire is to obtain information on the current fire status or campfire rules from the area you’re visiting. If fire danger is high or extreme, it may be a good idea to skip the fire altogether. If fires are allowed at your destination, follow the directions below for proper campfire safety. 

Use A Fire Pit and a Grill Mat

If you’re cooking or enjoying a fire in your backyard, a metal fire pit is an ideal solution for the basis of an outdoor fire. Make sure to leave plenty of space between the fire pit and any combustible materials. An additional step to keep your backyard or any piece of land safe is to use a grill mat. Our Fire & Grill Mats are designed to help prevent embers from landing underneath the Fire Pit or Cowboy Grill. Not only does this reduce the potential for fire escaping the pit, but it also protects your grass underneath. This fire pit mat was intentionally designed for use with our Barebones grills and open fire products but can be used effectively with any BBQ. You can also travel with this fireproof mat - bring it camping, to the beach for sunset BBQ, or to the river for lunch. 

Regardless of where you’re camping or cooking, make sure to always use a designated fire pit. No matter the fire risk, always be conservative with your flames. Constantly observe and take mental note of your campfire size. Never stoke a fire any bigger than it needs to be. Don’t burn materials that easily combust and cause large embers. Consider using hardwood that burns slowly and equally. 

It’s also important to keep a shovel and bucket of water nearby at all times. While a backyard hose may be easy to grab if a grease fire starts in your BBQ or an ember catches a pile of leaves, high-pressure water will not be accessible in the middle of the woods.

How To Put A Campfire Out 

Putting out a campfire isn’t as easy as throwing a bucket of water on it and walking away. When you’re done with your fire, you’ll want to completely extinguish all wood and coals. Coals that have been burning for many hours can stay hot and reignite up to 24 hours later. The right conditions and semi-burning coals have started forest fires in the past. 

The “Drown, Stir, and Feel” Method

The “drown, stir, and feel” method is a tried and true method for completely extinguishing a fire.

  1. Drown the fire with water.
  2. Stir around the fire area with your shovel to wet any remaining embers and ash.
  3. Make sure wood is wet on all sides. 
  4. Fire area should be wet and cool to the touch when finished. 
  5. Repeat as many times as necessary until the area is completely cool to the touch. 

Fires are an amazing and mesmerizing way to cook food, stay warm, and find enjoyment in the outdoors. They are an essential part of our story and mission - we believe something special happens when we gather outside together around a flame. We hope you'll join us in working to keep our backyards and forests safe.

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