How to Safely Extinguish a Campfire

Fire Safety Facts and Tips

fire safety factsCamping is an extremely fun activity to do with your family or friends. There are so many campsites in every state, every country. It is a beautiful thing because everyone should have the chance to do it at some point in their life. Whether you are from the heart of the city or maybe from the depth of the country, it is a cost efficient trip for any vacation or holiday excursion. In order to remain safe, however, there are a few simple steps one needs to take. The main concern you should have on a camping trip is properly putting out your camp fire. If you start a forest fire you will likely regret it for the rest of your life. Here are a few fire safety facts to help ensure your campfire is properly extinguished.

Come Prepared

When going camping, there are some key things that one should pack in order to ensure optimal fire safety. These include:

  • A shovel: A folding camp shovel will help you easily put out your fire, it will also help with digging a pit if one doesn’t already exist.
  • A folding bucket or water jug: Sure its not always practical on backpacking trips to pack a large jug for water, but when car camping its always a good idea to keep one around. This will help you control your fire and put it out quickly if you need to.
  • Common sense: Never leave home without it 🙂 Don’t start a campfire if the camping area is dry, or there is a lot of wind present.

See the complete hiking and camping checklist for more ideas on items to bring.

 Fire Safety

Campfire SafetyOne of the most dangerous aspects of a camping trip is the fire. You have to have it- sometimes for food, sometimes for warmth, sometimes for light. It is necessary to complete the camping experience. You sit around it making s’mores, telling ghost stories, singing campfire songs, etc. Teach fire safety facts to your kids and exercise them on your next camping trip.

Campfire Safety Tips:

  • To maintain the fire, add large pieces of dry wood to keep it going.
  • Keep the fire at a good size- not too small, but manageable.
  • Never leave the fire unattended- children and pets do not count for attendance. Make sure kids and pets are under close supervision.
  • Do not go to sleep until the fire is entirely extinguished!

Putting out a campfire properly to prevent forest fires:

  • Let the wood burn to ash.
  • Drown the ash in water…drown. Not just the red embers need water, the whole thing.
  • Keep drowning until there is no hissing sound.
  • Make sure there are no more burning embers. It should be cold enough to touch it, or it should not be left yet.
  • Check the sticks to make sure there were not any burning embers left on them.
  • Churn the area where the fire was with your shovel and mix it in with local dirt.
  • When it is all cold to the touch, and all checks for embers have been made, you may leave it.

Make sure to follow these fire safety facts. You want to get into a good practice of putting out a campfire properly to prevent forest fires. The Rocky Mountains in particular are generally dry and extra care should be taken to avoid fires.

Colorado, Southern Wyoming and Utah are perfect examples of where extra care should be used. Since the destruction of many pine trees from the beetles, there is always an extreme danger of any fire getting out of control. You will find vast landscapes of devastated forests in these areas. Once the pine beetles infect these trees they will soon be dead and become forest fires waiting to happen. This can be observed by the numerous large fires over the last couple of summers.  Be sure to observe fire danger signs put up by the USFS, these can be a good guide to the danger level of having a fire in your area. 

Safe is fun. Make sure to follow the fire safety facts tips in order to have a good, clean, fun adventure!


  1. Shaun Hoobler

    October 5, 2013 at 7:52 am

    Thanks for the tips. We’re going camping this weekend again. So stoke.

  2. Leslie Trawler

    October 19, 2013 at 8:42 am

    That’s why we always make sure to bring a large bucket for extinguishing the fire during camping.