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How to Put Out a Campfire the Correct Way

Sitting around a campfire with family and friends is how lasting memories are made. But, once you’ve roasted the last marshmallow, told the last scary story and sang the last song, it’s important to know how to put out your campfire the correct way. Wildfires are a very real threat to our forests, so the onus is on us to protect them by being responsible campers.

Step 1

Wait for the fire to burn down until the wood has almost completely turned into ash. We understand this isn’t always possible and requires a little planning ahead, but it will help when it comes time to extinguish the fire.

Step 2

Spread the remaining wood or coals evenly using a shovel or long stick. They will extinguish quicker if they are not touching.

Step 3

Drown the fire with water. Be sure to hold the water several feet above the fire to avoid any hot steam that rises.

Step 4

Use your shovel or long stick to mix the water with the ash and embers of the fire. Be sure all the embers are covered with water. Also, check the surrounding rocks for embers. If necessary, add more water.

Step 5

Feel the area where the fire used to be to ensure that it’s cool. If the area is too hot to touch, repeat steps 3 and 4.

Step 6

Before leaving, be sure to check the entire campsite for sparks and heat

Helpful Tips

  • If you don’t have water to extinguish the fire, you can use dirt. Use the same method as you would with water. Pour over the embers, then mix until the fire pit is cool.
  • Don’t wait until you’re ready to leave to put out the campfire. Start the process before you start packing up camp.
  • Remember to check for sparks, embers and heat spots within the camp. This step could be the one that prevents a wildfire, especially in dry seasons.

Ready to start packing your camping gear? Don’t forget the other necessities, like extra socks and a quality backpack!

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