Dear Amy: My family is going camping this summer, and we will be cooking over an open fire. How do we make sure we don’t start a forest fire? — Macie G., Forks, Washington
Dear Macie: Camping is a wonderful family adventure! As long as you follow a few safety tips, you and your family will have a great time. Most important, follow any posted instructions at your campsite and do not build a fire if conditions have been dry.
When preparing a campfire, first select an appropriate spot. If a pre-made pit is not available, choose an area that is far from trees and low-hanging branches. Once you have a space, clear the area and make a ring of stones at least 2 feet wide. If regulations don’t allow bringing your own firewood, collect dead wood from the ground.
Forest fires are difficult to contain once they get started. Many times they are caused by campfires that have not been properly extinguished. Once you have cooked your meals, make sure the fire is completely out. Use a stick to stir the ashes and be sure all embers are cool to the touch.
To learn more about campfire safety, hear from an expert at Smokey Bear Campfire Safety, smokeybear.com/campfire-safety.asp.
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