Monday, November 2, 2009

It's a burning! Now, stop it!

I love this time of year. It isn't only because November has Thanksgiving, football or my birthday. I love November because the leaves are beginning to change colors, it's the kick off to the holiday season, and it's time for one of my favorite treats - S'mores!

There is nothing like grabbing two sticks, or a lighter and some lighter fluid (in my case) and making a campfire with friends.

The oozing marshmallows...

The melted chocolate...

All neatly squished between two graham crackers.

Once the fun is over and it's time to head back indoors or to the tent, don't forget to put out the fire.

Remember what our friend Smokey the Bear says, "Only you can prevent forest fires."

To help you get your Smokey on, the America Red Cross would like to pass on a few tips from Smokey on how to put out your campfire:

Maintaining Your Campfire
  • Once you have a strong fire going, add larger pieces of dry wood to keep it burning steadily
  • Keep your fire to a manageable size
  • Make sure children and pets are supervised when hear the fire
  • Never leave your campfire unattended
  • Never cut live trees or branches from live trees

Extinguishing Your Campfire
  • Allow the wood to burn completely to ash, if possible
  • Pour lots of water on the fire, drown ALL embers, not just the red ones
  • Pour until hissing sound stops
  • Stir the campfire ashes and embers with a shovel
  • Scrape and make sure everything is wet and they are cold to the touch
  • If you do not have water, use dirt. Mix enough dirt or sand with the embers. Continue adding and stirring until all material is cool. Remember: do NOT bury the fire as the fire will continue to smolder and could catch roots on fire that will eventually get to the surface and start a wildfire.

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

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.

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