How to Light a Campfire

Only light a campfire in one of the designated special public campfire sites provided, or with the landowner's permission elsewhere, and remember to make sure that the area is not covered by a current official forest fire warning. Never light a fire in a strong wind that could blow dangerous sparks into surrounding areas.

Photo: Vastavalo/Jari HindströmAt public campfire sites use the firewood provided in nearby woodpiles. Chop some firewood into smaller pieces to make it easier to get a fire started and burning evenly. Loose branches, sticks and chips or splinters cut from dry or resinous wood can be used as kindling to help start your fire.

Pile up the kindling in the centre of your campfire, and light it from upwind. When the kindling catches fire, add more sticks, and then gradually larger pieces of firewood. Keep campfires to a reasonable size, and always use firewood sparingly, especially in treeless terrain or other areas where firewood must be brought from further away.

Carefully tend your fire by adding enough firewood gradually to ensure it burns properly, but does not spread out of control. Never leave fires unwatched.

Putting out Your Campfire

When you want to leave your campfire, collect all your litter. Paper and other safely combustible wastes can be burnt on the campfire before you put it out, but do not burn anything containing plastics or metals, as this can produce toxic fumes or leave wastes that will not decompose.

Allow your campfire to die down slowly. Separate any firewood that has not been fully burned so it can be used later. If the campfire is still burning or smouldering when you wish to leave, put it out properly by pouring on a small amount of water.

If you are leaving a public campfire site, help the next users by leaving some chopped firewood and smaller splinters ready by the campfire site. Leave any axes, saws or other such equipment in their proper places.

At campfire site. Drawing: Martti Sirola