A camping trip is a great way to spend some quality time with your family or friends. A campfire is a very common part of this quality time, you use it for warmth, cooking s’mores and keeping animals away. However, a campfire can turn tragic if it is not properly extinguished. Properly extinguishing a campfire is easy and can prevent a wildfire.
The first step in properly extinguishing a campfire is allowing enough time for all of the wood to burn to ashes. Partly burned wood may still have hot embers that can reignite the wood. Unattended burning wood can roll into the woods and ignite a larger fire.
Completely drown the fire. Do not just dump a cup of water on the fire and walk away. Make certain that every part of the fire is completely soaked not just the red embers. Though the ember may look like it is all ash, it may still be red-hot in the center.
Plan to wait for upwards of 30 minutes while you listen for the hissing sound to stop. This hissing sound is the water flash boiling when it hit hot embers, which means the fire is still hot and not ready to be left unattended.
Spread the ashes of the fire using a shovel. This allows you to search the ashes for any remaining embers that can blow into the woods and spark a wildfire.
Any remaining sticks or logs in the fire circle must be scraped with the shovel and inspected for hot embers. Scrape any hot embers off and douse them with water. Stir everything together again using the shovel and make sure it is wet and cool to the touch.
Wildfires can spread with just the smallest of spark, so it is imperative that all steps are followed.