http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef017c381782ff970b-pihttp://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef017c381783a6970b-piCampfires have been enjoyed since humanity’s earliest history. It is Spring break for many and soon we will be enjoying those warm summer months when campfires are a favorite pastime. A highlight of the warmer season is roasting marshmallows and making those old favorites s’mores around the campfire. What wonderful memories can be created with family members and friends. It is important to keep those memories pleasant by following some safety tips:
- Make sure you get a permit. At certain times of the year such as during fire season campfires may not be allowed. Be sure to follow your local guidelines.
- Select a level, shaded location away from heavy fuels such as logs, tents and other flammable materials like overhanging branches, brush or decaying leaves and needles.
- Some campsites may have designated fire pits these should be used. If allowed in the area, use a shovel to clear an area at least 10 feet in diameter (local regulations may vary). Scrape away grass, leaves or needles down to the mineral soil.
- Scoop a depression in the center of the cleared area in which to build the fire and place a ring of rocks around it.
- Cut wood in short lengths, pile within the cleared area and light the fire. The fire should be built no larger than necessary. Never use an accelerant such as gasoline to start the fire.
- Fire must never be left unattended and the fire must be extinguished completely before everyone leaves camp.
- Fill a bucket with water and pour it on the campfire while completely stirring and wetting all the ashes. Turn wood and coals over and wet all sides.
- Move some of the dirt immediately adjacent to the fire into the fire and mix thoroughly.
- Feel with your hand all around fire to be sure nothing is still smoldering.
http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef017ee9bacb71970d-piAlways follow safety measures so that you leave with a pocket full of good memories. Leaving a campfire unattended is a violation of Federal Law (36 CFR 261.5) and is punishable by a fine of $225 to $5,000 and as many a six months in jail. You could also be held liable for fire suppression costs if a campfire that you started got out of control and started a wildfire. Be safe!