How to build a campfire in the woods

A forest fire burns in the back yard of a home in Chelan County, Washington, on November 7, 2018.

Chelan, Washington–The U.S. Forest Service says it’s considering making camping and other outdoor recreation more of a big-city experience.

But if you want to make the most of your weekend, here’s a few tips.


Know the rules.

You can’t camp in a wooded area where there are no fires.

Also, you must keep your tents, tentsites and other structures well away from other vehicles.

You may also want to check your local rules about fires.

The Forest Service’s Wilderness and Recreation Advisory Committee (WRAC) is reviewing the issue and is hoping to make its recommendation to the Federal Aviation Administration.


Take care of yourself.

The more fuel you have, the more likely you are to start a fire.

But be sure to pack a fire extinguisher, extra water, and extra fuel.

If you need to stay overnight, make sure you don’t bring any pets and pack them in a backpack or inside a tent.


Check the temperature.

In most areas, the weather will be OK for the fire to start, but some areas may have very warm temperatures or even snow or ice.

You might want to take extra care to keep your tent on a dry surface.


Don’t put your head down.

Be sure you are in control of the fire.

Do not leave children unattended, especially if you are the one in charge.

The Fire Department has information on how to get the most out of your time at camp.


Use a whistle.

Be careful not to blow your whistle or use a flashlight that’s powered by an external source of electricity.

Also be sure you have an emergency whistle handy.

A fire extinguishing device is the most common tool you can use to stop a fire, but a portable whistle can be useful as well.


Get out early.

The majority of wildfires burn within the first hour of the blaze, so it’s best to start setting your campfires around 2 a.m.

The earlier you start setting camp, the better.


Plan ahead.

It can take up to a week for a fire to spread, so you may want to set your campsite and campfire a day or two ahead of time.


Stay hydrated.

Donning water-resistant clothing will help keep your campfire safe.


Take a good look at the campfire.

If the flames are not moving, the campground is safe.

If there are smoke, look out for small objects like branches and small trash.

Don the flames and watch for people in your camp.

The fires are usually in a well-defined area, so if you spot any suspicious activity, you can follow up.