Campfire and Wildfire Safety During the Eclipse

The eclipse happening on August 21, 2017 could bring in 250,000 people — into the Salem, Oregon area. Many people are planning on camping, and probably expecting to build a campfire. August is still wildfire season in Oregon, so the State Fire Marshal has provided important safety tips to help keep Oregon green, and you safe.

Wildfire Safety

  • Know fire risks and respect fire restrictions, such as campfire bans.
  • Avoid parking or driving on dry grass as your vehicle can start a wildfire.
  • Vehicles are required to have a shovel and a fire extinguisher or at least a gallon of water in many areas.
  • Do not use candles, fireworks, or tiki torches, or other open flames outdoors.
    • Sky lanterns are illegal in Oregon airspace.
  • Smoking materials:
    • Dispose of smoking materials in deep, sturdy ashtrays.
    • Make sure butts and ashes are extinguished by using water or sand.
    • Never discard butts on the ground or in vegetation.
  • During a wildfire, there are three levels of evacuation:
    • Level 1 – Ready: Pack your valuables.
    • Level 2 – Set: Monitor the news reports.
    • Level 3 – Go: An official notice comes from the sheriff’s office or fire agency to evacuate.

Campfire Safety

  • Check to ensure if campfires are allowed.
  • Keep a shovel and water nearby to extinguish any escaped embers.
  • Select a site away from grasses, shrubs, overhanging branches, and stacked firewood.
    • Existing fire pats in established campgrounds are best.
  • Scrape away leaves and litter to bare soil, at least 10 feet on all sides of the fire pit.
  • Circle your campfire pit with rocks. Keep your campfire small and add wood in small amounts. Start your campfire with paper, cardboard, or manufactured fire starters. DO NOT use gasoline.
  • Never leave campfire unattended.
    • Before going to bed or leaving the campsite, drown the fire with water, stir the coals, and drown again. Repeat until the fire is out and it is cool to the touch.

For more information on wildfire prevention and fire restrictions, visit keeporegongreen.org. The Fire Marshal has also issued a useful flyer full of safety tips, which we’ve provided below.

Download the flyer: Oregon Solar Eclipse Safety Tips (PDF)