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How To Extinguish A Campfire

Learning the proper way to extinguish a campfire is often overlooked.  

We're always searching for the best way to build a roaring fire, but what happens when it's time to leave your fire or go to bed for the night?

As a responsible camper, hunter or outdoor enthusiast, learning how to put out a campfire is extremely important.

After all, no one wants to be the person responsible for the next forest fire or accidental fire in their backyard.

Anytime you consider building a fire it's important to plan ahead.  Is it too windy to build a fire?  Do you have the fire contained inside a fire pit?  How will you put the fire out when you're done?

By thinking ahead and using these simple steps you'll be able to build a campfire for everyone to enjoy, and more importantly......know that it's completely out when you're done with it.

How To Extinguish A Campfire

There's no better time to enjoy a campfire than a comfortable summer night with family and friends.  

However, the hot daytime temperatures and lack of rainfall typically creates an environment where an unattended fire can spread out of control.

In order to properly extinguish a campfire you need to plan ahead.  Stop adding wood to the fire and allow it to start burning down about 30-45 minutes before you plan on going to bed.

Ideally, you want the fire to burn down to just ashes without any wood left inside your fire pit.  Next, slowly poor a lot of water over the entire fire. Make sure to completely soak all the embers even if they're not glowing.

As you poor water over the fire you'll notice a hissing sound that's created when the cold water comes into contact with the hot fire.  Continue adding water until the hissing stops. 

Make sure to poor water around the edge of your fire pit since hot embers can hide under rocks and inside creases. 

Next, take a shovel or stick and stir the ashes.  Scrape hot embers off any wood that didn't burn down and continue to stir until everything is cold to the touch.  Add more water as necessary and continue stirring until the fire is completely out.

Thoroughly check the area for hot spots to be completely sure the fire is out.  

Although water works the best, if you don't have access to water you can use dirt and sand to stir into the embers. Using the same method as above, stir in the dirt and sand until the fire is completely out.  It's important to stir the fire and not just dump the dirt on top which will allow the fire to smolder under the dirt.


Enjoying a campfire is a lot of fun.  The warmth and sounds of a crackling fire at a campsite is something everyone should enjoy.

Just remember one thing.....when it's time to go to bed or leave your campsite, take a few extra minutes to ensure your fire is completely out. Fire safety is everyones responsibility.

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