When the sun goes down and the night sky appears, campers gather around the fire to tell stories, sing songs and experience the warmth a fire offers. However, campfires can also present some risk. Here are some campfire safety precautions to think about the next time you’re out on a camping adventure and wish to make a fire. Follow these easy steps to build a safe campfire.
Choose a site
Pick a site close to a water source, sheltered from the wind and make sure that you build your fire on a rock or bare dirt surface. Build your fire at least three metres away from logs, stumps, trees and any overhanging branches as well as 15 meters away from buildings or tents.
Prepare the site
Clear a space about two metres wide for the fire. Remove any debris from the ground and
scrape the area right down to the soil. Ensure you have a pail of water and a shovel to control the fire.
Build your campfire
Keep your fire small. It shouldn't be larger than one .5 metres high and .5 metres wide.
Small fires are safer, easier to control, and easier to put out and will keep cooking tools from blackening, allowing you to get close enough to cook.
Never leave a campfire unattended! If you start a campfire, you are responsible for tending it, ensuring it’s kept under control, and putting it out.
Fire free in 1, 2, 3
- Pour lots of water on the campfire.
- Stir the ashes with a stick to ensure that the water is well dispersed.
- Pour more water over top of your fire.
Repeat these three steps until the ashes don’t hiss, everything is well saturated and no more smoke comes from the ashes.
Safety tips for kids
- Always have adult supervision when you are around a fire.
- Never play with matches or fireworks.
- if you see a fire burning out of control, tell an adult immediately
Please note that campfires are only permitted while there is no fire ban in place.
BC Wildfire – Fire Bans and Restrictions