Smokey Bear: Campfire Rules

In the United States, nearly nine out of 10 wildfires are caused by people not being careful.

Help Smokey prevent these types of fires by learning to be careful and helping others do the same.

Make sure that the grownups building your next campfire follow all the rules below, and tell them to check out Campfire Safety to learn even more.

  • Make sure you are at a site that allows campfires.
  • Make sure there are no burn bans and it’s not too windy.
  • Dig a pit away from overhanging branches.
  • Circle the pit with rocks.
  • Clear a 10-foot area around the pit down to the dirt, removing anything that could catch on fire.
  • Stack extra wood upwind and away from fire.
  • After lighting, throw the match into the fire.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended; an adult should supervise the campfire at all times.
  • Keep a bucket of water and shovel nearby.
  • Never put anything but wood into the fire.
  • Do not pull sticks out of the fire.
  • Do not sit on the fire ring or rocks around the campfire. They will heat up quickly and they’ll stay hot for a long time.
  • When it’s time to put the fire out, dump lots of water on it, stir it with a shovel, then dump more water on it. Make sure it is COLD before leaving the campsite. If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave!

And remember, Smokey’s friends never play with matches, lighters, lighter fluid or other flammable liquids. If you find any of these items, tell a grownup where they are. If you see younger children playing with them, tell them to stop, and then tell a grownup. Kids who help prevent wildfires deserve a Smokey Bear Hug.

Science Topics
Natural Disasters, Wildfires
K-6, Middle School
Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, Adults

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