10 Things All Hikers and Campers Must Know About Campfire Safety

Smokey Bear fire safetyIt’s that time of year again, fire season! That means a good reminder about fire safety is in order for all of you hikers and campers out there!

10 Campfire Safety Tips:

  1. Find out if the campground allows campfires!
  2. Know the weather conditions and forecast. If windy conditions are in the forecast, be sure use extra caution and check with the campground manager or ranger.
  3. Pick a good site for your campfire. Always use a firepit, if available. If the campsite allows fires and there are not firepits, find a spot free of dry debris, low hanging overhead branches, or any other flammable objects. Keep your fire at least 15 feet away from your tent and anything else that could be a fire hazard. Also, be sure the area around the fire is watered down, and keep it watered down.
  4. Prepare your campfire site. It needs to only have gravel or dirt for a minimum of ten feet in every direction. No firepit? Then get a burn barrel, BBQ pit, or build a small pit with gravel around it.
  5. Look up! Heat travels up, and well above the flames of your campfire. Therefore, double check and make sure there isn’t anything above your fire site (trees, power lines, etc.).
  6. Practice match safety. The match that you use to start the fire needs to be doused with water to make sure it is dead before you toss it.
  7. Skip the lighter fluids. Don’t use lighter fluids, gas, or fuel to keep the fire going.
  8. Keep it small. Keep your fire under control. Smaller is better.
  9. Attend to your fire! If the fire is burning, you have to stay at the site. Even if little embers are still burning, you have to stick around.
  10. Put out the fire. You think the fire is out? Well, you better check again. Drown the fire with water, turn over the embers, and drown it again. Repeat. Then repeat again. Then repeat a couple more times for good measure!

Be fire safe an have fun camping and hiking this summer! For more tips, check out the Smokey Bear website!


  1. Bobbi C says:

    I am thrilled to see the new Smokey the Bear video and the outdoor safety rules that need to be reviewed by all of us! Happy B/D to Smokey and enjoyed the short video about his B/D party(no need to leave the birthday candles burning for too long).

    Thank you again

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