Skip to main content

Boreal Emergency Preparedness Portal

How to build a safe campfire.

Jul 01, 2018 01:32PM ● By Editor

Choose a site

  • pick a site close to a water source and sheltered from the wind
  • build your fire on a rock surface or bare dirt
  • build your fire at least three metres away from logs, stumps, trees and overhanging branches
  • build your fire 15 metres away from buildings or tents

Prepare the site

  • clear a space (about two metres wide) for the fire
  • remove pine needles, grass, leaves and twigs
  • 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 bigger than one metre high and one metre wide
  • small fires are safer, easier to control, and easier to put out
  • a small fire will also keep cooking tools from blackening and let you get close enough to cook

Stay nearby

  • never leave a campfire unattended
  • if you start a campfire, you are responsible for tending it, ensuring it is kept under control, and putting it out

Put the fire out

Use the following steps to put your fire out.

  1. pour lots of water on the campfire
  2. stir the ashes with a stick
  3. pour more water over top of it

Repeat these three steps until:

  • the ashes don’t hiss
  • everything looks wet
  • 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

Smokey’s website

Smokey Bear colouring page

3 Tips for Building Your Best (and Safest!) Campfire Ever

Upcoming Events Near You

No Events in the next 21 days.