With the Labour Day long weekend upon us, many will be heading to campgrounds and starting up a campfire.

While campfires can be a fun part of the camping experience, it doesn’t come without its risks. Safety precautions should be taken so the fire doesn’t get out of control. 

Moose Jaw Fire Department Public Education Officer Cathie Bassett said, that before you even start your fire, make sure that there are no fire bans in place. 

Next, she said to make sure your firepit is free of any debris that can blow away and spread the fire like leaves. The fluff off poplar trees is also prominent and can quickly ignite and spread. 

“It's like snow out there right now and that stuff, it goes up so fast. You think of it each as little pieces of fluff. If it is ignited and there's a wind, it could catch and blow it and spread it so quickly,” Bassett said. 

She added that, if it is windy, you may want to rethink having a campfire. 

Once you get your campfire going, Bassett said to not leave any small children or pets unattended around the fire as thousands of people in Canada are taken to the emergency room each year due to campfire accidents. 

As for the fire itself, Bassett said to never leave it unattended as the sparks can travel a fair distance. 

“Be attentive. Make sure that you have a bucket of water around the campfire or shovel and dirt or sand nearby, and make sure before you leave or go to bed that night that your fire is out so that there's no question of anything catching and burning down,” she said. 

For firepits and outdoor fireplaces within city limits, the rules and regulations can be found in the city’s Fire Safety Bylaw on page 13 under “Firepits and Outdoor Fireplaces.”

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