The warm summer months are upon us.

Whether you’re having a fire at the beach, while camping or in your own backyard, the City of Campbell River says you need to have a quick and easy way to put it out.

It’s now sending out a reminder to always bring a bucket of water with you if you plan on having a recreational fire.

“Summer is here and as people gear up for beach and campfires, we can’t say it enough: be careful out there during fire season,” says fire chief Thomas Doherty. “Making sure your camp or beach fire is fully extinguished is one of the most important ways to prevent a runaway blaze.”

The fire department is often called to extinguish abandoned fires, which Doherty says can quickly turn into fast-moving brush or forest fires.

He says it’s important for everyone to use extra caution, especially during dry conditions.

“Many people enjoy evenings sitting around a warm fire, and there are a number of beautiful beaches and campsites in the area. Recreational fires, including camping and beach fires, are currently permitted, but we need everyone to do their part to keep them contained.”

Along with having a bucket, here’s how to prepare and care for a recreational fire:

  • Do not light a fire or keep it burning in windy conditions, as the wind may carry embers and spread the fire.
  • Beach fires are not allowed on parkland or private property (other than your own).
  • Always light beach fires below the high tide line.
  • Recreational fires must not exceed 24 inches (60 centimetres) in diameter.
  • Maintain a fireguard around the fire – a fuel-free area where all flammable materials (grass, kindling, driftwood, etc.) have been removed.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Be cautious when supervising kids and teach them how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing should catch fire.
  • Make sure the fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area.

Although recreational fires are currently permitted, Doherty adds that during dry, hot conditions the fire department may restrict or ban them.

You’re being reminded to always check local and provincial fire restrictions before lighting any fire.

Abandoned fires can be reported by calling the fire department’s non-emergency line at (250) 286-6266. If it is an emergency, call 911.

For more information on fire safety, click here.