How to Put out a Fire in a Fire Pit

How to Put out a Fire in a Fire PitWhether you are using a fire pit during a camping trip, at home or somewhere else, campfire safety should be your primary concern. Knowing how to build a campfire is an important skill, but so is putting one out. Do not risk destroying the surrounding area by leaving a hot ember. Always put out fires properly, even when using a metal fire pit. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Several gallons or buckets of water
  • Shovel or large stick
Step 1
Wait for the fire to burn down. While this is not always possible, it is best to allow the fire to burn down until it is very low and the wood has largely burned off into ash.
Step 2
Spread out the remaining wood evenly, using a shovel or stick.
Step 3
Pour water up and down the length of the fire, then side to side. Hold the water several feet over the fire to avoid getting burned by steam rising out of the fire pit. Thoroughly cover all the wood and embers until the fire stops smoking and sizzling.
Step 4
Use a shovel or stick to move the wood around. Be sure that all sides of the wood are covered with water. Scrape any embers off the remaining wood and soak them. Stir the mixture of water and wood.
Step 5
Lift up the rocks of your fire pit and look for embers between and under them. Thoroughly soak those with water, too.
Step 6
Before leaving, check the entire fire pit to make sure there is no heat being generated. The fire pit and wood that remains should be cool and damp.

Tips & Warnings for Putting Out a Fire in a Pit

Do not wait until the last minute; put out the fire before packing up the camp to allow time for the fire pit to cool.
Use dirt to extinguish the fire when you do not have an ample supply of water. Do not bury the fire, but shovel and mix like you would with water.

Fire Pit Campfire Safety

Fire pit safety is of utmost concern, as is safety associated with any kind of campfire. Follow appropriate fire safety rules at all times. Always be sure the fire is fully extinguished and cool before leaving the area or turning in for then night. Never leave a burning fire unattended. 

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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