Campfire Safety Brochure (BCWS) [PDF]
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 tips for your next camping adventure.
Things you will need:
Lighter or matches
Water (8 litres recommended)
STEP 1: Check if there is a fire ban in effect in the area by visiting BC Wildfire Service’s webpage. If there is a fire ban, sorry – no campfire this time, but if there is no ban, please continue to step 2.
STEP 2: Use approved fire-rings or pits to build your fire if campfires are permitted. Start by clearing a four-foot radius around the designated fire area. The area should be free of grass, twigs, leaves, and firewood.
The fire should be at least 15 feet away from tent walls, hanging branches, and any surrounding vegetation.
STEP 3: Typically, to start and maintain a healthy campfire you’ll need 3 types of wood. Note: Do not gather wood material from your campsite or surrounding areas.
- Tinder (small, dry bits of kindling)
- Kindling (small and thin pieces of wood)
- Fuel (firewood)
Start by loosely piling the tinder in the centre of the fire pit. Once a solid collection of tinder has been placed, it’s time to add the kindling on top. You can stack kindling in a cone shape (pointy side up), or like a log cabin. Use your lighter or match to ignite the tinder. Blow lightly at the base of the fire to get it started.
Add more kindling when your fire has some life to it. When the fire is hot enough, add the fuel (larger pieces of firewood) to the fire. Avoid overloading the firewood to prevent your fire from being smothered.
Keep the fire small and under control (0.5 metres by 0.5 metres). Never leave a fire unattended. It is extremely important that children and pets are supervised around the campfire.
STEP 4: The best way to extinguish a fire is to let the wood burn completely to ash. If time does not allow for this, completely extinguish the fire with buckets of water. Pour water until the hissing sound stops and use your shovel to stir and break up the campfire.
For more information about fire management, visit BC Wildfire Service’s webpage