Here are a few things to remember when making a campfire - always be sure to check your state and local restrictions before assuming if safe to have a fire!
Before starting your fire, be sure to check for fire restrictions or bans in the area where you plan to camp or have a fire. Stacked.camp has compiled a catalog of fire authorities by state to help you better understand the laws in your area. Click on a state above to learn more.☝️
Windy conditions can cause wildfires to spread rapidly and are a major fuel to forest fires every year. If it's too windy to light your fire, it's too windy to have a fire. Many areas across the United States will issue “red flags” during these kinds of conditions, however, even if there isn’t a warning, use your brain - better safe than sorry!
To ensure your fire is completely out, hang around to make sure it isn’t smoking or smoldering for up to an hour after you put out the fire. Make sure there aren't any red or glowing embers below the logs!
The easiest and quickest way to put out a fire is to dump water on it. Having extra water is always a good idea when camping or adventuring, but it's even more important when having a campfire. Always have at least 5 gallons of water with you when burning and keep it close by - especially when its dark!
Fallen trees and branches provide habitats and much needed nutrition as they break down, allowing new life to grow. This means that in many places, it's best practice to leave fallen trees and branches alone. Only collect dead and downed firewood when it is encouraged by park authorities. Let’s keep the forest forest.
Tree-killing insects and diseases can hitchhike to new areas when people travel with firewood. Help us protect the forest by sourcing your firewood locally (ideally within 10 miles of where you'll burn it) or purchase certified, heat-treated firewood.
It’s best to keep your campfire at least fifteen feet from your tent, vehicle, supplies, or most importantly, dry sticks or brush. Forest fires can start by igniting dry material on the ground or branches above a campfire - something thats easy to prevent with enough space. Clear the ground around your fire ring and pick a location that has a clear view to the sky.
Whenever you have a fire, it's best to use a metal or rock fire ring that has deep sides. This will keep your campfire contained and will prevent it from spreading. As a rule-of-thumb, most campgrounds require campfires to be inside the provided fire rings.