Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What To Do When A Campfire Gets Out Of Control

Camping is one of the best ways to enjoy the early fall months as temperatures drop slightly and the bugs disappear. There’s nothing quite like stepping out of your tent into the morning air brewing fresh coffee over a fire, going swimming and fishing in the lake, and roasting evening marshmallows over that same fire.

We’ve already shared 5 Easy Ways to Stay Safe During Camping Season, where we discussed how to prevent fires from getting out of control while camping… but what do you do if your fire is already too high? How can you tame the intense flames and restore safety to your campsite?

Know Your Top 3 Priorities

If you find that your campsite fire has gotten out of control, then make sure to keep these three things in mind:

  1. Make sure that nobody is hurt, or gets hurt.
  2. Make sure that the fire hasn’t damaged items needed to survive (tents, sleeping bags, food)
  3. Keep the fire from spreading from your campsite to the surrounding forest, as it could cause a forest fire.

Staying calm and jumping into immediate action is the best way to ensure that these three priorities are met, so instead of panicking, take a deep breath and do the following:

Steps for Putting Out a Fire

The most important thing in this scenario is to not panic. You can help make sure that your friends and family members stay calm by directing their actions. Take control and delegate specific tasks to keep them organized and on-track, making statements like “Alice, do X” and “Brian, do Y” etc.

Not sure what to get them to do? Below are the steps, listed in order of priority (though ideally these should be accomplished in tandem):

?     Put shoes on (to make sure nobody steps in burning embers or gets their feet burned by the flames)

?     Keep small children, pets, and injured people away from the fire and out of the way to the path to the nearest water source.

?     Find large containers (bowls, buckets, etc) and take them to a nearby water source

?     Throw water on the edges of the fire first, working your way in

?     Take towels and blankets to drench in water and use to smother the fire. Reuse and resoak as needed.

?     Move tents, backpacks, chairs, and other items out of the way and away from the fire

Stay Calm

Especially if small children are around you may find that they begin to cry and focus on keeping non-essential items (like stuffed animals, toys, or books) safe, but it’s important to keep them away from the problem area and, if possible, enlist the help of another adult to manage them and keep them from getting in the way.

Know When to Call for Help

If the fire gets too big and you believe that your fellow campers can’t put it out, then it’s time to call 911 or the local ranger station. If you’re out of cell reception, delegate a driver to head to the closest station to alert them of the problem.

For more information about staying fire-safe, contact your local fire protection experts at Bison Fire Protection at 204-237-3473 today.

Posted by Rob Read at 9:12 AM

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