Wildfire Preparedness Is Year-Round: Campfire Safety

Turn that last summer vacation into a teaching moment of campfire safety!

Summer is quickly coming to an end, and students across New Mexico will soon be heading back to school. And while it’s a perfect time to make lasting memories around the campfire with the kids, it’s also an opportunity to teach them about wildfire safety.

If you’re planning to camp out for that final summer trip, be sure to bring along the following safety tips to teach the kids while cooking up delicious s’mores around the campfire!

  • Choose campsites with preexisting fire circles or fire pits, or consider portable propane fire pits that produce instant heat and can be turned off immediately with no hot coals to worry about.
  • Clear a 10-foot-wide space around the fire ring and make sure there are no low-hanging limbs or branches over the fire area.
  • Keep campfires small and never build a fire in dry or windy conditions.
  • Pitch tents and park campers at least 15 feet away and downwind of your fire.
  • EXTINGUISH THE FIRE PROPERLY BEFORE LEAVING OR GOING TO BED: Drown the campfire with water, stir everything in the pit with a shovel, then test for heat with the back of your hand. If it feels warm, it’s still too hot to leave. Add more water, stir, and keep testing until the fire is dead out.
  • Always check for fire restrictions. Some areas of New Mexico may still be under fire restrictions due to severe drought conditions and may not be listed in the link above. Check with the local fire department or government agency that oversees your planned location BEFORE leaving for your trip.
Campfire safety is a teaching moment - August graphic showing calendar

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