State Fire Marshall Asks for Precaution with Campfires
State offices are urging the public to be smart this spring and summer when it comes to building campfires.
According to the Washington State Fire Marshall's Office, more than 1,800 wildfires were reported in Washington last year, burning over 674,000 acres. In addition, the state is expected to see below-average precipitation and above-average temperatures until at least fall.
The State Fire Marshall has 10 tips when building a campfire. They are:
- Before setting up a campfire check with your local fire official to make sure it is allowed.
- If allowed, campfires need to be at least 25 feet away from an structure and anything that may burn.
- Clear away dry leaves, sticks, overhanging low branches, and shrubs within at least 10 feet of the campfire.
- Avoid burning on windy and dry days as it is easier for open burning to spread out of control when it is windy or dry.
- Attend campfires at all times and supervise children and pets while the campfire is burning. It is a good idea to make a 3-foot "kid-free-zone" around the campfire.
- Keep campfires small, as this makes them easier to control.
- Never use gasoline or other flammable and combustible liquids.
- Always have a bucket of water, or a shovel with dirt or sand nearby to put on the fire. Make sure to completely extinguish the fire before leaving the site. Apply water to all coals or remaining flames. Sire with a stick and pour on more water. Observe that there is no heat, glow, or flame remaining.
- If your clothes catch on fire, stop, drop and roll. Stop, drop to the ground, and cover your face with your hands. Roll back and forth until the fire is out.
- Treat any burns right away. Cool the burn with cold water for 3-5 minutes and then over with a clean, dry cloth. Make sure to get medical help if needed.