How Hot Is A Campfire – Campfire Safety Is No Joke

How hot is a campfire - Campfire safety is no joke
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Fire is a bit seductive.There’s something about the peaceful flames that trigger many provoking questions. Like, "Just how hot is a campfire?"

I’ve been a camper most of my life. My family were routine campers, which probably explains my secret shame of playing with fire. I always wondered why my parents would constantly yell at me not to play with the campfire.

Hearing stories of how my uncle burnt down a forest cleared those thoughts right up. Campfires are no joke, here’s why.

How Hot Is A Campfire?

Thanks to the lovely people at, I can tell you that the average campfire burns a little over 925 degrees Fahrenheit (496 degrees Celsius). Paper and wood both burn at 451 degree Fahrenheit, Aluminum starts to melt at 1,221 degrees Fahrenheit.

Campsites Beware

Campfires are essentially required when camping. On top of being the primary source of heat during chilly nights, campfires also give everyone the opportunity to have a bit of fun.

campfire beware

Think about it—campfires act like a stove. You can cook your camping foods or anything over them. Whether it's hot-dogs, beans, eggs, or even everyone’s favorite, s’mores.

Fire also gives not only the campsite but the entire wooded area a risk of danger. It’s extremely possible for the smallest speck of ember to ignite within the woods.

During the average day, without rain, the ground is completely vulnerable and basically dry.

Dry debris, such as leaves, dead wood, and dead grass, all act as kindling for an ember that can keep hot for a lengthy period. This means even if you don’t see it, there’s a chance that in time this ember can ignite the right material and spread.

Fire only leads oxygen to really increase in intensity. Ever see how dangerous the California wildfires get?

Besides the danger of the woods catching on fire, you still have the ever-worse danger of having the campsite including the tents and gear catching fire. No parent or person want this to ever happen.

Therefore, playing with fire or handling fire in a reckless way like with bonfires, is a disaster waiting to happen.

How to Prevent Any Accident

Inspecting The Site

Campfires are essentially required when camping. On top of being the primary source of heat during chilly nights, campfires also give everyone the opportunity to have a bit of fun.

campfire safety


The best safety measures are the ones always taken. That means knowing how to manage a campfire safely.

Remember to always inspect the site when you arrive. Clear away any debris or easily ignited materials away from where the campfire is located.

A good reference is about 10 feet in each direction. This prohibits a “safety zone” for any possible mishaps.

Control The Size Of The Fire/Flames

Another good safety rule to follow is never make a huge fire. A fire, as I mentioned above, will reach almost 1,000 degrees F. That’s plenty of heat it will throw off. Bigger flames doesn’t mean anything but more danger.

small campfire in stones

Remember to keep the flames relatively low. No more than 12-16 inches from the top of the wood. That means using less wood. One or two logs at most should be used on the fire.

This assures that not only the flames are maintained but you use the appropriate amount of firewood for the time you will be awake.

Never Leave A Lit Fire Unattended

Lastly, make sure the fire is never still going when you go to bed. Being asleep while the fire is still lit is hazardous. You risk injury and worse by doing this.


Make sure you apply dirt and water directly onto the coals then mix and repeat. This is the surefire way of making sure nothing is still lit. Double check just to guarantee.

Also, a good rule of thumb to follow is to ensure your tent is far away from the campfires location. Aim for 20 or more feet away. This reduces the risk even further. Just in case you accidentally forgot to put out the fire.


In summation, campfire safety is a must whenever you camp. An average fire can reach over 900 degrees F. That means even with the smallest of embers, the risk of debris and flammable items around the campsite could spell disaster.

  • Safety measures like properly inspecting the site for any debris, sticks, leaves, dry wood, is a must. Eliminate the risk of a fire outside your fire pit. That means you should always manage a campfire smartly.
  • Keep the flames low. Having 1 or 2 logs on the fire is beyond enough to get the job done. Don't forget, never leave a fire unattended. Especially if you're going to bed.
  • The danger of sleeping while the fire is still lit is too silly to ignore. Make sure not only to use a mixture of water and dirt to put out the fire, but also remember to always have your tent and equipment far away from the fire pit.


Did you enjoy the article? Do us a favor and share it with your friends, family, and camping buddies. Like and comment below on your thoughts, experience, added information, or just to say hi.

Hopefully the camper in you is more than ever aware of the dangers a campfire possesses. Camp safe campers!

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