Smoke clouds aren’t billowing over Seattle, but firefighters across the Pacific Northwest are still battling seven major fires, and temperatures won’t start dropping for at least another month.
If you plan on camping or cooking out at a local day-use area, it’s important to familiarize yourself with “best” fire safety practices. After all, it’s up to all of us to keep our forests green for years to come. Learn what to look for, what to pack, and how to practice common sense.
1. Adhere to the posted rules. Every campground, public day-use area, and state park has different rules regarding campfires and grills. Before collecting any wood or lighting a match, make sure you’re familiar with what is and isn’t allowed in your area. During the summer months, it should be pretty easy to find a park ranger or camp host. However, if no one’s around, look for an informational board near the parking lot or registration area.
Make sure your fire or coals are within the designated fire area and don’t go overboard with lighter fluid. You’re probably already aware, but you shouldn’t burn trash or aluminum cans either.
2. Pack your fire safety kit. If you’re going to have a fire, make sure you have the following items on hand:
These four items are the basic, bare minimum. If you want to increase your safety, consider investing in a pre-packaged kit like this.
3. Practice common sense. Only start a campfire if the weather and your surroundings permit. For example, if your campsite doesn’t have a designated fire ring, choose a different campsite or don’t have a fire. If it’s windy outside, you should also avoid starting a fire. These tips might seem obvious, but common sense isn’t always common.