Park ranger: S’mores OK — but stay safe

Environment

Always make sure your campfires are properly put out

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s a great weekend to go out camping and there’s nothing better than gathering around a campfire. But with high fire danger in some parts of Oregon, park rangers want to remind you to have your fire — but keep it safe, too.

“How can you camp without a fire?” said Mike Tribe.

Mike Tribe and his family are regular campers and outdoor enthusiasts. He said that when playing with fire, everyone should take the responsibility seriously — to keep the land safe.

“We have to make sure we put it out at night, make sure it doesn’t flare up,” he said.

Park rangers feel the same. They want people to enjoy camping — and part of that experience is a campfire.

Oregon State Park Ranger Dan Klug at Champoeg State Park, August 8, 2019 (KOIN)

“S’mores around the fire, telling stories, having a good evening — but we also want folks to be safe,” said Dan Klug, a park ranger.

Maintaining a safe fire consists of keeping a campfire within the fire rings, keeping it at a low level and making sure someone is always watching it.

“This time of the year there is a lot of dry grass, dry leaves,” said Klug.

In dry conditions, it doesn’t take much to lose control of your fire or embers — as we’ve seen in summers’ past.

Out-of-control fires are a threat to lives and homes. Park rangers want you to keep fire in mind this month as you get outdoors and sit around the firepit.

A campfire at Champoeg State Park, August 8, 2019 (KOIN)

Klug said to put out a fire, you add some water to the fire, stir the coals — then add more water and stir the coals again.

“You always want to make sure it’s dead out,” he said.

Campfire and beach fire restrictions in Oregon

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