Most RVers are aware of the need for campfire safety, but may not really think about a few simple rules, when they are setting up camp. Many wildfires get started unintentionally by careless campers. Many campsites, but not all, will have a fire pit properly situated and set up. But if you are boondocking in more primitive locations, knowing a few rules about your campfire spot is essential.
• DO NOT build a fire in and area with hazardous, dry conditions.
• DO NOT build a fire in high wind areas.
• DO NOT build a fire if the campground or area rules prohibit campfires.
• If the campsite does not have an existing fire pit, and campfires are allowed, look for an area at least 15 feet away from your RV, as well as away from any brush, trees or other flammable objects.
• Choose a spot that’s downwind from your RV, and protected from wind gusts.
• Clear a 10′ area around the site, removing any grass, leaves, and sticks.
• Dig a one foot deep pit in the dirt.
• Circle the pit with rocks.
Before you start a campfire, you prepare the pit:
• Fill the pit with pieces of dry wood from the ground, or dead branches. Do not cut off branches from living trees!
• Place any unused firewood upwind, away from the fire.
• Once you have a strong fire going, add larger pieces of dry wood to keep it burning steadily.
• Keep a bucket of water and a shovel nearby. You can use water from your gray tank.
Remember these safety tips:
• Keep the fire a manageable size.
• Supervise children and pets around the fire.
• Never leave a campfire unattended!
When you put out the fire, follow these guidelines:
• If possible, allow the wood to burn completely to ash.
• Pour plenty of water on the fire, drowning ALL embers. You can use gray water.
• Pour water until the hissing sound stops.
• Stir the campfire ashes and embers with a shovel, making sure everything is wet and cold to the touch.
If you do not have water, mix enough dirt or sand with the embers to put the fire out. Continue adding and stirring dirt and sand until everything is cool. Do NOT bury the fire, as the fire can continue to smolder, and could catch roots on fire, that could eventually reach the surface, and start a wildfire!
Never burn dangerous or inappropriate material!
• Never burn aerosol or pressurized cans or canisters, they can explode!
• Never put glass in the fire pit! Glass does not melt, it will only heat up and shatter, potentially spraying the area with dangerous slivers of glass.
• Aluminum and tin cans will not burn! It will only turn into trash! Pack it in, pack it out.
ALWAYS REMEMBER: If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave!