As wildfires across Canada become a growing concern, here are guidelines from the Ontario Government on preventing forest fires.
Follow these easy steps to build a campfire safely.
1. Choose a site
- Pick a site close to a water source and sheltered from the wind.
- Build your fire on bare rock, bare dirt or other non-combustible material (mineral soil).
- Build your fire at least one metre away from any flammable materials.
- Make sure the space above the fire is at least three metres from overhanging branches and vegetation.
2. Prepare the site
- Clear a space about two metres wide for the fire.
- Remove pine needles, grass, leaves and twigs.
- Scrape the area right down to the mineral soil.
- Ensure you have a pail of water and a shovel to control the fire.
3. Build your campfire
- Keep your fire small to a maximum of one metre high and one metre wide.
- Remember that small fires are safer, easier to control and easier to put out.
- A small fire will also keep cooking tools from blackening and let you get close enough to cook.
4. Stay nearby
- Never leave a campfire unattended.
- Remember that you are responsible for tending your campfire, ensuring it is kept under control, and for putting it out.
5. Put the fire out
- Pour lots of water on the campfire.
- Stir the ashes with a stick.
- Pour more water over top of the campfire.
- Stir the ashes with a stick again.
- Repeat until:
- the ashes are cold to the touch
- the ashes don’t hiss
- the ashes look soaked
- no more smoke comes from the ashes
Safety tips for kids
- Always ensure children are with an adult when they are around a fire.
- Never allow children to play with matches or fireworks.
- Teach your children to tell an adult immediately if they see a fire burning out of control.
- Learn more about fire safety from Smokey Bear, including tips on preventing wildfires, and games and activities for kids.