submitted by Lucy Stefanyk, Naikoon Park Ranger-It’s that time of year when many of us head outdoors to enjoy the beauty and abundance of our magnificent land. Beach campfires are a traditional part of the outdoor experience – there’s nothing like blackening marshmallows over an open fire. Remember, however, that when you choose to a light a fire, you have a personal responsibility to contain and control it. Please be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that the fire is out before you leave it.
This past sunny Sunday, while on patrol along North Beach, I was alerted about a campfire that hadn’t been put completely out. I was shocked to discover that the fire had been lit in the driftwood line and contained many large burned logs. Wood nearby the fire pit was blackened and hot to the touch when we arrived. After disassembling the fire pile, a bucket brigade and many shovelfuls of sand, we were finally satisfied that the fire was out. Many thanks to Colleen Williams of Haida Fisheries, Tim and Lisa Boyko, Berry Wijdeven, Josina Davis and others on the beach who took the time to help prevent what could have been a potential campfire disaster.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind the next time you light a beach campfire:
o ALWAYS ensure that your fire is out before you leave. Disassemble the fire including coals and surrounding partially-burned or unburned wood, pour water over the beach campfire area and ensure that no hot, hidden embers remain smoldering.
o Never build a fire amongst the beach driftwood as the fire could easily spread amongst the logs. Instead, make a fire ring in the sand away from wood sources.
o Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids to start your fire!
o Please take your garbage with you – and don’t burn plastics or cans in your fire.
Thank you for taking care when out enjoying the sun and surf!
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