campfire and destructive wildfire


campfire safety

In recent years record high temperatures and extrem dry conditions have led to an exceptionally high risk of large-scale fires. 70-95% of all the wildfires around the world are caused by humans. These fires can be accidental, intentional or from an act of negligence.

A stack of wood burned in a wildfire.

If you don't want to start disaster with the striking of a match, consider the following tips:

• During a drought or heatwave, when high temperatures have turned trees and undergrowth into tinder, and especially if the authorities have issued a forest fire warning, a campfire should not be build and used. Make fire only where and when it is appropriate.

• Be extra careful and use a fire ring. Build your own ring with rocks or use an established one. Keep your fire small, control it and never leave it unattended. Never keep firewood right next to it and always have some water ready at hand.

• Build your fire on bare mineral soil, sand or gravel only. Clear away all flammable materials from your fire pit. In order to avoid black scaring of exposed flat rock or the ignition of organic matter build a mound fire. You can build the platfrom with soil and sand from the root hole of a toppled tree.

Root fires are a serious threat in forest habitats with extensive root systems and thick layers of dry leaves, turf or pine needles. They can smoulder for months and travel underground before the resurface some distance from their point of origin.

• Many areas have been degraded by the overuse of campfires and an increasing demand for firewood. Use less or bring your own. Dead and down wood or driftwood is easy to collect and leaves less impact.

Campfire and fire ring.

• Do not burn plastics, glass, cans or foil. Pack out any litter.

• Make sure that your fire is completely extinguished before you break camp. Don't allow the fire to re-ignite after you have left the site. Drown the embers, stir the ashes and feel with your hands. The coals should be cold enough for you to run your fingers through them safely. Scatter the cold ashes and remove all evidence of your fire being there. If you use an existing fire ring, clean it before you leave.

• Leave No Trace!

A campfire.

You took care of the above? Then unpack some heroic tales and eerie ghost stories and tell them by the dim light of the flickering flames.

Happy campin'!

Please send me an email if you do have a question:
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