Campfires are one of the pleasures of camping in the woods, but along with the cozy campfire is the responsibility to make sure it is COMPLETELY out before leaving the campsite. Don’t let your campfire become a wildfire!
Before leaving home, always check to find out what the campfire restrictions are for the area you plan to visit. If campfires are allowed, please follow these suggestions when building and extinguishing your campfire.
- Use an existing fire ring, don’t create a new one. When not in a designated campground, in a Wilderness area for example, build your fire in previously used fire pits or within a ring of rocks. During fire-hazard periods use portable stoves rather than campfires.
- Clear all vegetation away from the fire ring (remove all flammable materials, such as needles, leaves, sticks, etc.).
- Select an open level spot away from trees, logs, stumps, overhanging branches, dense dry grass, and forest litter.
- Keep your campfire small in size.
- Keep plenty of water and a shovel nearby for throwing dirt on the fire if it gets out of control.
- Never leave a campfire unattended!
When putting out your campfire you should:
- First, drown the campfire with water.
- Next, mix the ashes and embers with soil. Scrape all partially-burned sticks and logs to make sure all the hot embers are off them.
- Stir the embers after they are covered with water and make sure that everything is wet.
- Feel the coals, embers, and any partially-burned wood with your hands. Everything (including the rock fire ring) should be cool to the touch. Move the rocks, feel under them to make sure no embers are underneath. Make sure that no roots are burning.
- When you think you are done, take an extra minute and add more water. Stir the remains, add more water, and stir again.
- If you don’t have water, use moist dirt. Be careful not to bury any hot or burning material as it can smolder and later start a wildfire.
- Finally, check the entire campsite for possible sparks or embers, because it only takes one to start a forest fire.
Remember…if it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave.
Please take the time to completely put out your campfire. Remember, a little extra care takes only a few minutes of your time and it could prevent a wildfire. For more information on campfires, please contact the nearest ranger district office.
Office Contact Information:
Chelan Ranger District, 428 W. Woodin Ave., Chelan, WA 98816; 509-682-4900; hours M-F 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., closed for lunch 11:30 to 12:30
Cle Elum Ranger District, 803 W. 2nd Street, Cle Elum, WA 98922; 509-852-1100; hours M-F 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.; closed for lunch 12:30 to 1:15 p.m.
Entiat Ranger District, physical address 2108 Entiat Way, (P.O. Box 476), Entiat, WA 98822; 509-784-4700; hours M-F 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Methow Valley Ranger District, 24 West Chewuch Road, Winthrop, WA 98862; 509-996-4000; hours M-F 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Naches Ranger District, 10237 Hwy. 12, Naches, WA 98937; 509-653-1401; hours 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; closed for lunch noon to 12:30 p.m.
Okanogan Valley Office, 1240 South Second Ave., Okanogan, WA 98840; 509-826-3275; hours M- F 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; closed for lunch 11 a.m. to noon
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Headquarters office, 215 Melody Lane, Wenatchee, WA 98801; 509-664-9200; hours M-F 7:45-4:30
Tonasket Ranger District, 1 W. Winesap, Tonasket, WA 98855; 509-486-2186; hours M-F 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; closed for lunch 12:30 to 1 p.m.
Wenatchee River Ranger District, 600 Sherbourne, Leavenworth, WA 98826; 509-548-2550; hours M-F 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.