Keep Your Campfire Contained: Safety Specifics


What is camping without a good old campfire? Campfires have been great for cooking, telling stories around and of course marshmallows! Fires however, when not used properly can lead to serious loss.

Fires, and more importantly, forest fires have resulted in devastating destruction in places all around the world. We know of the severity they have brought to the west coast of Canada over the years. In particular, Australia’s forest fires of 2019 also resulted in mass environmental damage.

Because damage is our specialty we are going to go through the importance of fire bans, how you can lessen the risk with fires and substitutes which still give you your campfire experience.

Fire Ban Facts

To prevent many of the forest fires, fire bans are put into place. Fire bans are typically put into place for two reasons.

1. Environmental conditions are dry, resulting in increased risk of fires starting.

2. The number of fires within a certain area has reached capacity in terms of firefighting resource capabilities.

Ways to Reduce Your Fire Hazard

Whether there is a fire ban on or not, there are ways you can ensure you are enjoying a good old camp fire safely.

Know the municipality’s fire safety measures.

Make sure to check out websites, or local boards to see the risks of fires in the area.

Do not leave your fire unattended for long periods of time.

Once you are done with it there are several steps you can take to stop the fire. Firstly, allow the fire to burn down before putting it out. You can then douse it with water, or dirt as an alternative, until the fire is completely out.

Be aware of where your fire is located.

If you start your fire under a tree or awning, close to your trailer or next to something flammable, your chances of the fire spreading are more likely. Try to find a place that is open and free of any debris and flammable materials.

Use a fire containing pit.

Having a fire somewhat contained from the inside will help prevent any fire spreads. Certain campgrounds have these types of pits at every campsite. Check out Friendly Fires for a range of outdoor fire containers.

Refrain from using certain fire starters such as excessive gasoline use.

Using other forms of fire starting methods sometimes can lessen the amount of control you have over your fire. When possible start fires using typical starting methods like kindling or wick fire starters.

What Can I Substitute?

In addition to these best fire hazard reduction practices there are also substitutes you could implement to safely enjoy the perks of camping fires.

Have a fireplace within your trailer.

This more so applies to mobile homes or park models that have more versatility to fit fireplaces in. Although you may not be outside you can still enjoy the fire from the comfort of your vacation home.

A blazing fireplace within a trailer
An outdoor chimnea with a wood fire burning
Chimeneas are also great substitutes for typical fire pits.

This is something the Ontario government suggests to use instead in certain situations when fire ban regulations are in place. 

Use a grill if you are using your fire for cooking. 

Grills are more contained than the typical campfire. In some severe cases however grills and BBQs can also be restricted so know the fire restrictions in your area.

Campground Due Dilligence

Although in some cases forest fires just can’t be prevented, in other cases different parties can also do their due diligence to prevent tragedies from happening. Campgrounds can play a big role in ensuring fire safety measures are taken. Here are some of the ways campground owners can protect their campground and campers from fires.

This ensures all campers know what is expected of them in terms of keeping themselves and others safe. Especially with transient campers, try to provide  information on arrival about fire restrictions. 

This verifies that if a trailer owner causes damage to your property it can be covered. Here is more on why proof of insurance is important. 

Having fire containing pits removes the responsibility being put onto campers. This is more important in parks with transient sites.

This sort of information should be available to everyone. Whether its posted in the employee lunch room, on the public announcement board or on a Facebook page, everyone should know what to do in the case of a fire emergency.

Fire can be all fun and games until someone gets burned. Make sure its not you. Want to know more information about Ontarian fire bans, laws and regulations? Check out below for more fire tips.

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