One of the most awaited moments when going camping is sitting around a campfire. Campfire not only provides warmth at night but also a place for enjoying dinner, chatting or taking part in many fun games.
However, a campfire contains much risk for your campsite, especially when your campsites are in forest areas. So that, make sure that your campfire is put out is compulsory before you leave.
Every year, thousands of acres of wilderness and forest land are destroyed by escaped campfires leaving from careless people who still leave campfires after going.
So that, no matter what time of year, put out a campfire is camper’s responsibility to maintain and protect wildlife from wildfires.
The following steps will prove you a safe way to extinguish the campfire.
Stop the fire with water
If possible, you should allow the wood to burn completely to ash. This is the best way to avoid inhaling smoke or hot steam when you extinguish fire. And if the logs are still burning, use a stick or shovel to separate the wood from the charcoal, that can help slow the fire down. When the fire was slowed, pour a lot of water into the embers.
If your campsite near the water source such as a lake or a river, take many bottles of water and pour it slowly from the top of the fire. Campers need to find information about your campsite by Googling or visiting travel blogs before going.
Doing that, you will know about topographic and decide the place to put up a tent (near the water source and keep away from crown of trees). Remember that you shouldn’t stand too close (directly above or downhill from the fire) because it can harm you unexpectedly. Keep pouring water until the smokes stop leasing from the campfire.
In the case of no water source can be found, campers can use dirt from the burned logs or sand to put out the fire by stirring them into the embers. Just remind you that you need to wait until there is a small fire to avoid burning yourself.
Mix up the ashes and embers
Campers use a stick or shovel and start to mix the ashes and embers into the soils. Scrape all partially-burned sticks and logs to assure that there is no log burning anymore. With the stick, you also need to check whether it’s put off or not before leaving. At this step, you should check surround to remove all flammable materials (such as leaves, sticks, etc.) away from the fire of your campsite.
Pour more water into the remaining
After mixing ashes and embers, to make sure that there is no cause of fire, you need to pour water again into the remaining. Continue to stir the embers after pouring more water to assure that everything is wet. This step needs to be repeated until no more steam rises. Sand or dirt can also be used in this step if water source couldn’t be found.
To reassure that you completely put off the fire, wait for 10-15 minutes. You can take this time to pack you're belongs and prepare for your next journeys.
Feel the logs and coals before leaving
By following all above steps, your campfire is put off. However, “better safe than sorry”, campers need to reassure that the fire is completely extinguished. Let your hands slowly touch the coals, embers and any partially-burned wood.
When you can’t feel hot, take an extra minute before leaving. If there is still heat, you have to add more water and continue to stir the remaining and check again. For safety reason, campers shouldn’t skip this final step.
“If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave”. Remember that any remaining fire from your campfire can start a forest fire. Thus, campfire can harm forests or wildlife and the consequences could not be imagined. So that, please take your time to extinguish the fire before leaving. Campers should conduct all above steps about 30 minutes before leaving to make sure that by the time you leave, there is no cause of fire. Follow the above steps not only help you have a safe camping but also protect and avoid unexpected results for our environment.