How to Safely Build, Maintain and Extinguish a Campfire

By Dede Mulligan | Building a Fire
May. 192016

Seeing, hearing, smelling and feeling the effects of a campfire is the essence of camping for most people. During a campout is a great place to experience the beauty and comfort of a wood fire in the great outdoors. Open fire comes with great responsibility though, so there are particular steps to make sure your campfire is the safest it can be.

Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires!

Smokey the Bear is the undeniable mascot for campfire safety. When building a campfire, it is important to carefully consider where and how you build it – this is the best policy for prevention.

Building Your Campfire

Before you leave for your camping trip, check local weather conditions and whether there are campfire restrictions in place. If there are no campfire restrictions, when arriving at your campsite, follow these important instructions before lighting your campfire:

  • Determine a site that is at least 15 feet away from tent walls, shrubs, trees or other flammable objects
  • Clear a 10 feet perimeter around the campfire
  • Be upwind from unused firewood, tents and gear
  • Use an existing firepit if possible; if not then dig a hole at least a foot deep & surround it with rocks
  • Only use dried wood (preferably kiln dried firewood) never wood from live trees
  • Start with dry kindling in a teepee shape
  • Always have water, dirt and a shovel near by in case the fire gets out of hand


Maintain Your Campfire

  • Once you have your fire going, add larger pieces of dried wood to keep the fire going
  • Keep the size of your fire to a manageable size
  • Always watch your fire, never leave it unattended
  • Be aware of children and pets, making sure they do not get too close to the fire

Extinguish Your Campfire

  • Allow the fire to burn out completely
  • Pour lots of water on the embers, not just the ones that look like they are burning
  • Stir the cold wet embers around to ensure another fire will not begin
  • If you do not have water, use dirt to extinguish; keep adding dirt until the fire is out and cool to the touch
  • DO NOT bury the fire; it can continue to smolder setting fire to roots that eventually go to the surface and could start a forest fire.

If you follow these steps, your campfire will not only be comforting and cozy, but safe!

Need the Right Wood for Your Campfire?

Premier Firewood Company™ can help you have the best campfire possible! Order your kiln dried firewood online or give us a call at 203-866-4252 today!


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