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Recreation Advocate

The OutdoorWire family websites feature news and information affecting outdoor recreation opportunities and access to public lands. 

Campfire Safety

Campfire Safety

by: John Stewart
Natural Resource Consultant
California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs

It is coming down to the Dog Days of Summer and it has been a long dry summer with many outdoor opportunities restricted due to sever fire danger.

Even though many public lands are under fire restrictions, campfire safety is still of concern all year. Everyone should follow fire safety precautions when visiting public lands to help to keep our public lands free from fires.

If you have a campfire, please abide by the following rules:

* Build campfires away from overhanging branches, steep slopes, rotten stumps, logs, dry grass, pine needles and leaves.
* Build your fire in an approved ring or build a ring of stones around your fire site.
* Pile extra wood away from the fire.
* Clear the area down to bare soil.
* Keep your campfire safe and small, especially in windy conditions.
* Never leave your campfire unattended.
* Drown the fire with water and dirt, stir remains, add more water and dirt, and stir again.
* Do not bury your coals as they can smolder and re-ignite later.
* Make sure your fire is dead out before leaving.

If you must have a fire, consider a metal container such as an old washing machine tub that is at least six inches above the ground. A metal fire container helps confine the hot coals to reduce the risk of the fire spreading.

Now, sit back, relax and enjoy the fire. Just remember to keep it contained and make sure it is out when you leave.
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