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Campfire Safety

If a fire gets out of control, it can be dangerous both for people and for wild animals. With these easy tips from Smokey the Bear, you can make sure that never happens!

Use a Campfire Pit
If your campground has a fire pit, be sure to build your fire there. If there isn't one, pick an area that isn't under any tree branches and dig a small pit. Make sure there aren't any twigs, branches, or grasses nearby that could catch fire. The ground should be clear down to the dirt for five feet all the way around your pit.

Your campground fire pit might have stones circling it or a metal ring. That's the best kind!

Keep a Fire Bucket and Shovel Nearby
Whenever you build a campfire, you should have a pail of water and a shovel nearby. The water is to put on the fire to put out the flames. The shovel is to scoop up dirt to throw on the fire, in case it gets out of control. In kindness to the little animals living in your campground, place a stick in the water bucket, so any critter that falls in can climb back out again.

Keep Extra Wood Far Away
Your woodpile should be at least five feet away from the fire, and upwind.

Put Your Match in the Fire
After lighting your fire, put the match in it. Never toss away a match that's still hot or warm.

Never Leave a Fire Unattended
This is the most important rule of all. Never leave your fire unwatched, even for a minute. If everyone else has to go to the bathroom, have one person stay with the fire and wait until the others are back.

When it's time for bed, use the bucket and shovel to put your fire out with water and dirt. Make sure it's all the way out before you turn in for the night. It's better to put a lot of water on than not enough. Your fire pit will have all night to dry out and be ready for the next day's campfire.
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