Campfire Safety

marshmallows roasting over a campfire
Remember, only you can prevent wildfires.

NPS Photo / Ian Wilder

Campfires are generally allowed in Big Thicket National Preserve, as long as there are no burn bans in effect. However, strong winds and heavy fuel loads can easily turn a small campfire into a catastrophic wildfire. Please follow these safe campfire guidelines.

Building Your Campfire

  • Have plenty of water handy, plus a shovel or trowel for throwing dirt on the fire if it gets out of control.

  • Build campfires away from overhanging branches, steep slopes, rotten stumps, logs, dry grass, and leaves. Pile extra firewood away from the fire.

  • Scrape away litter, duff, and any burnable material within a 10-foot circle. This will keep the campfire from spreading.

  • Keep campfires small.

  • Never leave a campfire unattended. Even a small breeze can quickly cause a fire to spread.

Extinguishing Your Campfire

  • Drown the fire with water. Make sure all embers, coals, and sticks are wet.

  • Stir the remains, add more water, and stir again. If you do not have water, use dirt. Mix plenty of soil or sand with the embers. Continue stirring and adding water or soil until all material is cool to the touch.

  • Do not bury your coals. They can smolder underground and possibly re-ignite.


Last updated: August 9, 2021

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