Sitting around a campfire with family and friends can be a great way to enjoy Ontario’s beautiful outdoors.
Here are some tips on how to keep your campfires safe.
Choosing a site
- Pick a site that is close to a water source and sheltered from the wind
- Build your fire on a rock surface or bare dirt
- Build the fire at least three metres away from logs, stumps, trees and overhanging branches
- Make sure the fire is 15 metres away from buildings or tents.
Preparing the site
- Clear a space about two metres wide
- Remove pine needles, grass, leaves and twigs
- Ensure you have a pail of water and a shovel to control the fire.
Building your campfire
- Keep the fire smaller 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.
- Never leave a campfire unattended
- If you start a campfire, make sure you keep it under control and put it out before you leave.
Putting the fire out
- Use the following steps to put out your fire:
1. Pour lots of water on the campfire
2. Stir the ashes with a stick
3. Pour on more water.
- Repeat these three steps until:
1. The ashes don’t hiss
2. Everything looks wet
3. No more smoke comes from the ashes.
Fire safety tips for kids
- Always have an adult supervise when you’re around a fire
- Never play with matches or fireworks
- If you see a fire burning with no people near it, tell an adult immediately.
One last tip – don’t forget the S’mores!
- In 2014, 61.3 per cent of forest fires in Ontario were caused by humans.
- During the camping season, Ontario experiences an average of at least one wildfire every day caused by an unextinguished or unattended campfire.
- On average, over 200 wildfires are started every year by people participating in recreational activities in forested areas.
- More campfire tips
- Be FireSmart
- Current forest fire situation update
- Current forest fire hazard
- Outdoor fire rules and permits
- Learn to Camp recipes