Prevent your campfire from turning wild

Jun 25, 2024, 12:48 PM | Updated: 12:53 pm

A man works to put out a rogue fire in American Fork Canyon....

A man works to put out a fire in American Fork Canyon. Always ensure your campfire is fully extinguished before leaving the area. (Luke Kevesdy)

(Luke Kevesdy)

SALT LAKE CITY — Sitting around the campfire is a popular summer evening event. However, if they aren’t maintained and extinguished properly, they can turn into wildfires. 

According to the United States Bureau of Land Management, you can take steps to prevent your campfire from going rogue from the beginning. 

Starting and maintaining a safe campfire

Before you start a campfire, the Utah Department of Natural Resources said to make yourself aware of current fire restrictions for the area. Ensure that you are starting the fire in an approved location.

Avoid starting fires on windy days, as sparks can be carried away from the site. 

Related: Zion National Park to introduce campfire and smoking restrictions

Secondly, campfires do not need to be large to provide light and heat. The BLM said that a few small logs are enough to begin. 

If your fire begins to wither, you can always add another small amount of fuel later on. “Keep it under control by only adding one or two small logs at a time,” reads the BLM website. 

Always keep a fire extinguisher or at least one bucket of water nearby. You never know when an emergency situation may arise. 

Never leave your campfire unattended. If you must leave the area, make sure it is completely extinguished before your departure. 

Extinguishing a campfire

Smokey Bear recommended letting all fuel reduce to ash before extinguishing a campfire. When it is time to put the fire out, make sure you drown it. “Pour until [the] hissing sound stops,” says the website. 

Then, stir the remains of the fire. Pour more water onto it to ensure no buried embers are still alive. Alternatively, Smokey Bear said you can stir dirt into the fire to bury it. 

If there are any remaining sticks or logs in the pile, scrape them with a shovel. Ensure you’ve removed all embers. 

When it is cool enough to touch the fire is considered completely extinguished. If it isn’t, continue to pour water and monitor it. 

Related: Summer camping tips to make your trip a success


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Outdoors + Recreation

The state law doesn't require people of all ages to wear a life jacket while they’re out in the w...

Michelle Lee

Be mindful of these summer water safety tips

Let’s Get Moving Host Maria Shilaos spoke with Cassidy Hadden, Utah Drowning Prevention Coalition Chair of 2024, to learn water safety tips.

1 day ago

The Unified Fire Authority received a call on Saturday about a helicopter having to emergency land ...

Kennedy Camarena

Helicopter emergency lands in Herriman

A helicopter pilot had to perform an emergency landing in a field in Herriman, Utah on Saturday after a mechanical failure occurred.

2 days ago

There’s still hope if your lawn turns brown between July and August. Once it cools down during mi...

Michelle Lee

Keep your lawn healthy with these summer lawn care tips

How is your lawn coping with the recent triple digit temperatures? If you’re seeing any yellow or brown patches, there are ways you can care for it this summer to make it green and healthy again.

3 days ago

Utahns are taking to the hills to find cooler temps. However, DWR is sending a message: steer clear...

Andy Cupp

When it comes to mountain goats, DWR says keep your distance

Utahns are taking to the hills to find cooler temps. However, DWR is sending a message: steer clear of the mountain goats.

4 days ago

Skiers wait for the lift chair at Sundance Mountain Resort in Provo Canyon on Wednesday, March 13, ...

Verl Johansen

Ski Utah is celebrating its second most attended ski season in history

This year, Utah Ski had almost 7 million ski visits, making this year the second-best ski season in history.

5 days ago

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall speaks during the event where Salt Lake City announced the lau...

 Carter Williams, KSL.com

How Salt Lake City’s new e-bike incentive program works

With this program, Salt Lake City hopes it'll make it easier for people to purchase an e-bike and reduce car usage in the city.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

Prevent your campfire from turning wild