D E C banner
D E C banner

Disclaimer

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added a link to a translation service developed by Microsoft Inc., entitled Bing Translator, as a convenience to visitors to the DEC website who speak languages other than English.

Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

Fire Safety When Camping

Forest Ranger Emergency Contact:

  • 518-408-5850
  • 518-891-0235 (Adirondacks)

Since people cause most wildfires, we all have a part in preventing them. Follow these safety tips when burning outdoors.

Campfires

  • Use existing campfire rings when possible.
  • Build campfires away from overhanging branches, steep slopes, rotten stumps, logs, dry grass and leaves. Pile any extra wood away from the fire.
  • Campfires must be less than 3 feet in height and 4 feet in diameter. Only charcoal or untreated wood can be used as fuel. A good bed of coals or a small fire surrounded by rocks gives plenty of heat. Scrape away litter, duff, and any burnable material within a 10 foot diameter circle. This will keep the campfire from spreading.
  • Be sure your match is out. Hold it until it is cold.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended. Even a small breeze could cause the fire to spread quickly.
  • Drown the fire with water. Make sure all embers, coals, and sticks are wet. Move rocks as there may be burning embers underneath.
  • Stir the remains, add more water, and stir again. If you do not have water use dirt. Do not bury your coals as they can smolder and break out.
  • Consider using a small stove for cooking in remote areas vs making a campfire.

  • Important Links
  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 518-402-8839.
  • Contact for this Page
  • NYSDEC Forest Rangers
    625 Broadway
    3rd Floor
    Albany, NY 12233-2560
    518-402-8839
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to all NYS regions