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July 3, 2012 > Camping Fire Safety

Camping Fire Safety

Submitted By Daniel Berlant

For many, the 4th of July signals the start of summer and time for fun family outings and vacations, especially camping. However, with hot and dry conditions, summer is also the time for wildfires. CAL FIRE would like to remind all campers and outdoor enthusiasts to keep these summer time safety tips in mind while enjoying the great outdoors.

Fire safety plays an important role outdoors, especially when it comes to campfires and outdoor cooking. If left unattended and not properly extinguished, campfires can produce a wildfire. Campfires can also be extremely dangerous for children. Children should never be allowed to play around campfires or outdoor cooking appliances. Devastating burn injuries are all too common when these safety rules are not followed. In addition, it is important to use flammable liquids (lighter fluid, kerosene, propane) and related appliances safely. Just a little forethought could protect you and your family.

CAL FIRE offers the following safety tips for outdoor recreation, cooking and camping:
* Obtain a campfire permit before starting any campfire.
* Use only approved and established campgrounds and campfire rings.
* Locate the campfire a safe distance away from tents, trees, or buildings.
* Clear the area around your campfire down to soil for 5 feet in all directions.
* Teach everyone "stop, drop, and roll".
* Use electric or battery lights in RVs.
* When using a propane appliance, light a match before turning on the gas.
* Store flammable liquids away from your tent or RV, and away from open flames.
* Use flammable liquids only for their intended purpose.
* Never let children use or play with lighter fluid or have them start a campfire.
* Clear vegetation from around the tent for at least 3 feet.
* Keep lanterns and open flames outside of the tent.
* Completely extinguish fires, and turn off all lanterns and stoves, before going to bed.

When it comes to firewood, don't forget to buy it where you burn it. By burning firewood where you buy it, you can eliminate the chance of spreading nonnative pests and diseases from one area to another. This is an important step in preserving and protecting our natural resources.

Have a safe summer and prevent fires and injuries to your family.

For more camping safety and campfire tips, visit: www.fire.ca.gov.

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