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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.

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  • NYSDEC Forest Rangers
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    3rd Floor
    Albany, NY 12233-2560
    518-402-8839
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