Campfire Safety

Camping fun usually includes enjoying a good campfire. It has so many uses - heating, cooking, roasting marshmallows and providing a story-telling atmosphere. While camping at A-J Acres, please follow these simple rules to protect the beautiful surroundings you are visiting for the enjoyment and safety of you and your fellow campers.

Do's and Do Nots

  • DO NOT... bring firewood from home or an unapproved firewood retailer. Bringing firewood from other places spreads diseases that affect the trees and beauty of the forest that you have come to expect at A-J Acres.
    DO... Purchase your firewood locally from a state licensed retailer. We sell firewood at comparable rates and will deliver it to your fire ring.
  • DO NOT... collect firewood from the area surrounding the campsites (un-mowed areas). Our forest has a balanced eco system and requires the deadfall for the health of the soil, trees and living space for the animals you expect to see at A-J Acres.
    DO... You may collect any sticks you find in the mowed area.
  • DO NOT... build fires outside of the camp provided fire ring. We have decided where it is safe to build fires for the enjoyment and safety of the campground.
    DO... Request a fire ring if your site does not currently have one. Some of our sites do not have permanent fire rings for those who would rather not have a fire. In this situation we will provide one and set it in place for you.
  • Always make sure children and pets are supervised when near the fire.
  • Never leave your campfire unattended. Even a small breeze could quickly cause the fire to spread.

Occasionally we have severe dry periods where even with campfire rings, fires can be hard to control. If we are having such a period, you will be notified at check-in that fires are not permitted.

How to build a campfire

  • Gather three types of fuel.
    1. Tinder (small twigs, dry leaves or grass, dry needles.)(You can also use a fire-starter or lighter fluid) If you choose to use lighter fluid, never put it on a fire that you have already tried to ignite. Heat from a previous ignition or an ember from the previous night campfire will vaporize the fuel and it may explode or flame may follow the fuel stream back to the can and ignite the can of lighter fluid. NEVER let a child of any age handle lighter fluid.
    2. Kindling (sticks smaller than 1” around) You may find these lying around your campsite. Tightly rolled newspaper will work as well.
    3. Wood Fuel You may purchase this from a local licensed vendor or from our main office. Yes, we deliver firewood purchased from us to your fire ring. Extra firewood should be stacked upwind and away from the fire.
  • Build It
    1. Loosely pile a few handfuls of tinder or fire-starter in the center of the fire ring/pit. If using lighter fluid skip the tinder and add more kindling.
    2. Lay the kindling over the tinder like you're building a tent or Tipi.
    3. Ignite the tinder with a match or lighter. If using a match discard it by placing it in a glass of water or simply add it to the fire.
    4. Add more kindling and firewood as the fire grows. Keep campfires small and do not let them get out of hand. (2’x2’x2’ in size)

A roaring fire is both a success, and a responsibility. It is your job to properly maintain and extinguish your campfire so that future campers can do the same.

Extinguishing Your Campfire

When you're ready to put out your fire and call it a night, follow these guidelines:

  1. Allow the wood to burn completely to ash, if possible.
  2. Pour lots of water on the fire, drown ALL embers, not just the red ones. Pour until hissing sound stops.
  3. Stir the campfire ashes and embers with a shovel and scrape the sticks and logs to remove any embers.
  4. Stir and make sure everything is wet and they are cold to the touch.

REMEMBER: If it's too hot to touch, it's too hot to leave!

Directions to build inexpensive campfire starters.

This project is perfect for Scouting and youth groups and children of all ages. This fire-starter is much safer than lighter fluids to use and just as effective.

  1. Pack dryer lint in each cup of a cardboard egg carton in the bottom tray only.
  2. Melt old crayons, candles, or paraffin wax in a double boiler.
  3. Place stuffed egg cartons on a surface that wax will not affect, as it may seep through the egg container.
  4. Pour wax into each cup, but do not fill to the top. Let cool before moving.
  5. To use, tear off one or two cups from the egg carton and light with match or lighter.

Don't burn dangerous things!

  • Never burn aerosol cans or pressurized containers. They may explode.
  • Never put glass in the fire pit. Glass does not melt away, it only heats up and shatters. Broken slivers of glass are dangerous.
  • Aluminum cans do not burn. In fact, the aluminum only breaks down into smaller pieces. Inhaling aluminum dust can be harmful to your lungs.
  • Plastic will burn, but gives off dangerous fumes. Please dispose of plastic in the trash.

Please visit our Contact Us page to ask us a question. Click here to make an online Reservation or call us at 320-558-2847.