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Campfire safety tips from RMCAT

Memorial Day is fast approaching and with summer just around the corner, many people will be heading out to camp in the high country. Summertime is also wildfire season in Colorado. Did you know as many as 90% of wildfires are caused by human activity with campfires being one of the leading causes? Therefore we, at RMCAT, thought it’d be a good time for a blog post about campfire safety to ensure everyone has an enjoyable and safe camping experience.

Campfire while camping. Help us prevent wildfires!

First of all, pick a safe place to have a fire. This is just as important for bonfires in your backyard as it is for campfires in the wilderness. Make sure you’re familiar with regulations in your area, and check to see if any fire restrictions are in effect. Try to use existing fire rings or pits, if possible.

When setting up a campfire, keep in mind a few safety guidelines to prevent any accident and wildfire. First, make sure to choose a location at least 15 feet away from any tents, shrubs, or other flammable objects. Additionally, clear away any leaves, grass, twigs, or other materials that could catch fire in a 10-foot radius around the campfire. Select a location that is sheltered from any wind gusts. To create a fire pit, dig a hole approximately one foot deep and surround it with rocks to help keep the fire contained. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable campfire experience free of wildfire and accidents.

When you’re starting a fire, it’s important to begin with a small flame. Avoid using gasoline or other accelerants, as they are unpredictable and can potentially combust. When camping, it’s crucial to keep the fire as small as possible. Make sure to supervise children and pets around the fire, and NEVER leave a fire unattended.

Be sure to completely extinguish your fire before leaving your campsite or going to bed. It’s important to pour plenty of water on the fire, ensuring that all the embers are drowned. Keep pouring water and stirring the embers with a stick or shovel until the fire is completely cool. If you don’t have water, you can use dirt or sand instead by pouring it over the fire and stirring it in with the embers until it is completely cool. Remember, if the fire is still too hot to touch, it’s still too hot to leave!

One last personal tip from RMCAT: if you plan to have a campfire, don’t forget the s’mores!!

Smores on a bonfire.

And please don’t forget these fire safety tips if you plan to enjoy a campfire this summer. Like Smokey the Bear says: “Only you can prevent forest fires!”Smokey the Bear: "Only you can prevent wildfires!"

Happy camping, everyone!

To contact Rocky Mountain Catastrophe, call 970-722-7744 or email [email protected].

Smokey photo credit: Smokey Bear Facebook

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