How to put out a Campfire

Escaped campfires are the second leading cause of wildfires in the Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests. Don't let your campfire become a wildfire!

Campfires are one of the pleasures of camping in the Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests. No matter what time of year, people need to be careful when deciding when and where to build a campfire.

Please check to see if any campfire restrictions are in effect before building a campfire.

If you are going to have a campfire:

  • Use an existing fire ring, don't create a new one. When not in a designated campground, build your fire within a ring of rocks.
  • Clear all vegetation away from the fire ring (remove all flammable materials such as needles, leaves, sticks, etc.)
  • Select an open level spot away from trees, logs, stumps, overhanging branches, dense dry grass, and forest litter.
  • Keep your campfire small.
  • Keep plenty of water and a shovel nearby for throwing dirt on the fire if it gets out of control.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended! Even a small breeze could quickly cause the fire to spread. Make sure a responsible adult is always in attendance.

When putting out your campfire:

  • First, drown the campfire with water!
  • Next, mix the ashes and embers with soil. Scrape all partially-burned sticks and logs to make sure all the hot embers are off them.
  • Stir the embers after they are covered with water and make sure that everything is wet.
  • Feel the coals, embers, and any partially-burned wood with your hands. Everything (including the rock fire ring) should be cool to the touch. Feel under the rocks to make sure no embers underneath.
  • When you think you are done, take an extra minute and add more water.
  • Finally, check the entire campsite for possible sparks or embers, because it only takes one to start a forest fire.
  • Remember…if it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave. 

Please take the time to completely put out your campfire, it could prevent a wildfire.

Smokey Bear drowning campfire

Smokey Bear stirring campfire

Smokey Bear feeling campfire
DROWN IT!
STIR IT!
FEEL IT!

For more information on campfires, please contact the nearest Ranger District office. 



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