1. Find out whether the park is currently allowing open campfires. Many regions are still experiencing drought conditions, and there are burn bans in effect.
2. Use the fire pits and fire rings already established in the parks whenever possible. check to be sure that the fire pit is at least fifteen feet away from the RV, shrubs, trees or other flammable objects.
3. Clear a 10-foot diameter area around the site. Remove any grass, twigs, leaves and firewood.
4. Fill the pit with tinder – small pieces of dry wood. Never pull branches from living trees, and check park regulations. Many parks prohibit gathering firewood and tinder.
5. Place your firewood upwind and away from the fire.
6. Keep a bucket of water and a shovel nearby.
8. Keep the fire to a manageable size. While roaring bonfires may be tempting, they’re much more likely to get out of control and can quickly spread to nearby forests.
9. Supervise children and pets at all times.
10. NEVER leave the fire unattended.
11. Completely extinguish the fire when you’re done, preferably by pouring enough water on the fire to drown all ash and embers. (Pour until the hissing sound stops and stir the fire with your shovel to ensure that all ash and embers are soaked.)
12. Alternatively, if you extinguish the fire with dirt, mix dirt or sand thoroughly with the embers. Continue adding dirt and stirring until all materials have cooled. DO NOT bury the fire as the fire will continue to smolder and could catch roots on fire that will eventually get to the surface and start a wildfire.
Wherever you’re camping this spring. we wish you a safe and happy trip!
~ G. Elaine Acker
P.S. If you’re thinking about buying a new or used camper this spring, be sure to give Camper Clinic II a call. They’ve got great deals!