In 2019, 87% of wildfires were caused by humans
Sitting under the stars by a crackling fire has its appeal. It’s where stories are told, sing-a-longs happen, and meals are cooked over an open flame.
Campfires bring family and friends together. But campfire mishaps can cause injuries and ignite wildfires. According to smokeybear.com, nearly 9 out of 10 wildfires in the United State are caused by people not being careful.
With a few safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association, you can prevent accidents and unintentional wildfires.
Safety Around the Fire
- Before setting up a campfire, be sure it is permitted at the site. Check with the local fire department.
- If campfires are permitted, they need to be at least 25 feet away from any structure and anything that can burn.
- Clear away dry leaves and sticks, overhanging low branches and shrubs.
- Stack extra wood upwind and away from the fire.
- Avoid burning on windy, dry days. It is easier for open burning to spread out of control when it is windy and dry. Check for burn bans that may be in affect.
- After lighting, throw the match into the fire.
- Watch children while the fire is burning. Never let children or pets play or stand too close to the fire.
- Attend to the campfire at all times. A campfire left alone for only a few minutes can grow into a damaging fire.
- Keep a campfire small which is easier to control.
- Never use gasoline or other flammable or combustible liquids.
- Always have a hose, bucket of water, or shovel and dirt or sand nearby to put out the fire.
- Make sure to put it completely out before leaving the site. Dump water on it and stir with a shovel, then dump more water on it. Make sure it is COLD before leaving the campsite.
- If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll. Stop, drop to the ground and cover your face with your hands. Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out.
- Treat a burn right away. Cool the burn with cool water for 3 to 5 minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth. Get medical help if needed. KCL
Reproduced with permission from NFPA’s website, www.nfpa.org/publiceducation. © NFPA. Additional source: The Ad Council and smokeybear.com.