Campfire safety for forest visitors

Graphic of an aged paper banner on wood plank background, featuring caption text and graphic rendering of a bucket of fire being poured on flames from a fire ring.

PORTLAND, Ore. – July 9, 2018 – With warm and dry conditions across the region, fire officials urge visitors to practice campfire safety when recreating outdoors.

“Our firefighters will be busy this summer responding to lightning-caused wildfires,” said Traci Weaver, Public Affairs Officer for Fire Communications for the USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region. “Please help us out by being safe and responsible with fire so we don’t add unnecessary human-caused wildfires to the mix.”

Nationally, approximately 90% of wildfires are human caused. Unattended campfires are the number one source of human-caused wildfires on public land. In 2017, 45% of wildfires in Oregon and 91% of wildfires in Washington were human-caused.

If you are planning to have a campfire, please remember:

  • First, “know before you go” whether campfires are allowed in the area you are visiting. Fire restrictions may be in place depending on local conditions.
  • Keep your campfire small and away from flammable material, like overhanging tree branches or shrubs.
  • Use a designated campfire ring when available.
  • Keep water and a shovel nearby.
  • Completely extinguish your campfire by drowning your fire with water and stirring with a shovel.
  • Make sure your campfire is cold to the touch before leaving it.

This short video demonstrates how to properly build and extinguish a campfire.

More info:

Smokey Bear’s Campfire Safety checklist (PDF) – via smokeybear.com

Smokey How to Extinguish Campfire (002)


USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region staff.

Leave a Reply