Wildfire Safety Tips for Outdoor Recreation

When spending time outdoors, it is important to take precautionary measures to prevent wildfires from occurring. From packing the right supplies to understanding local weather conditions, there are a number of safety tips to follow in order to minimize the risk of a fire spreading. In this article, we will discuss 6 important wildfire safety tips for outdoor recreation.

1. Check Local Fire Restrictions

Before heading out on your adventure, researching local fire restrictions can help you understand which types of flames can be used in a given area. Understanding fire restrictions and the kinds of activities that require a permit helps build a better knowledge of fire safety that can be handy during your outdoor recreational activities.

Check Local Burn Bans

Burn bans, or fire restrictions, are enacted by local governing bodies during dry seasons or in response to higher fire hazards. Adhering to these restrictions help keep everyone safe and decrease the chances of an uncontrolled wildfire spreading. Before heading out, research the local burn bans that are in place in the area you plan to visit.

Get a Permit

Certain recreational activities require a permit before they can be done within certain local fire restrictions. Activities like using portable stoves and lanterns, campfires, and smudging must all be assigned a permit in order to comply with the local fire restrictions. Make sure to obtain the necessary permits in order to remain compliant with the local fire safety requirements.

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2. Prepare Properly

No matter the length of your stay in the outdoors, it is essential that you come prepared with the proper supplies. Being prepared for a wildfire event will help put you and your family in the best position to handle the situation in the event of a fire emergency.

Bring the Necessary Supplies

Having the necessary supplies handy can help you keep proper fire safety. Bringing the following items can help give you the peace of mind that you will be able to handle potential mishaps with ease:

  • Fire Extinguisher: Having a fire extinguisher available will help you quickly put out flames.
  • Shovels: Having an additional tool in case you need to cover a fire or a spark that is found.
  • Insect Repellent: Helps keep the fire away from your campsite by detouring any flies that might be present.

Monitor Your Fire

In addition to being aware of the fire restrictions and being prepared for any potential fire emergencies, monitoring your fire is also important. Keep an eye on your fire, paying close attention to the smoke levels and flame size. If you see the smoke or flames increasing, douse the fire in water or dirt so that it does not spread.

3. Be Weather Aware

Before heading out for your outdoor adventure, knowing what to expect weather-wise is essential for fire safety. Paying attention to the weather conditions in the area can help you best prepare and make an informed decision on when is the best time to take a leisurely stroll outdoors.

Look Out for Strenuous Weather Conditions

Having knowledge of the extreme weather conditions that an area is likely to experience gives you the power of preparedness. Staying aware of wind patterns and high humidity levels can give you an estimate of the conditions that can increase the risk of a wildfire starting and/or spreading.

Know the Signals

Knowing the wildfire warnings that are issued can help you stay aware of potential wildfires and act quickly in the event of an emergency. Keeping an eye out for smoke signals, orange warning symbols and sirens can help you recognize when a wildfire is on the horizon.

People Also Ask

What are the safest outdoor activities during a wildfire?

The safest outdoor activities during a wildfire are hiking and camping in areas with few trees and vegetation that can easily be ignited, as well as exercising in areas with a low fire risk.

What are the signs of an approaching wildfire?

The signs of an approaching wildfire are smoke in the sky, orange warning symbols and sirens. It is important to take these signs seriously and act quickly to ensure your safety by leaving the area as soon as possible

How do I protect my home from a wildfire?

To protect your home from a wildfire, it is recommended to remove all vegetation in your backyard, clean the gutters frequently, remove dead branches from the trees, install fire-resistant building materials and utilize fire-resistant landscaping.

How can I check for existing local fire restrictions?

To check for existing local fire restrictions, you can research the local agency in charge of fire safety in the area you plan to visit, such as your local fire department, forestry department or National Parks and Recreation organizations.

What precautions should I take if I plan to have a fire outdoors?

If you plan to have a fire outdoors, be sure to check local fire restrictions, obtain the necessary permits, bring the necessary supplies and prepare for a fire emergency. Additionally, it is important to stay weather aware, monitor your fire, ensure you have a good distance from flammable materials and have a fire extinguisher nearby.


Wildfire safety should be taken seriously when engaging in outdoor recreational activities. Staying educated on the potential risks, understanding local fire restrictions, checking the weather and being prepared with the necessary supplies helps minimize the chances of you and your family encountering a serious fire emergency. With these 6 wildfire safety tips and basic fire safety knowledge, you and your family can stay safe during your outdoor recreational activities.