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  1. #1

    Default smoldering campfires

    I am sure that many of you, like me, come across smoldering or burning campfires. I always make sure to put them out completely when i come across them, sometimes to the detriment of my meager water supply. I thought it might make a nice thread to hear about times you came across a fire that needed putting out. Did you put it out, or did you just keep hiking? (Yikes!) Just for the record I am pro campfire

  2. #2

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    I came across one at Chatfield shelter one morning and it was still in full flame, I was taking my school's AT Club up to the shelter. We had past the last hikers to leave the shelter about 10 minutes before going north on the trail. I was going to teach the kids how to build a fire and let them attempt it, so we put out the fire then let another one right on top. I guess they got to practice building a fire on wet ground.

    It's the only one I remember coming across, but I don't really pay too much attention.

  3. #3
    Registered User Hikes in Rain's Avatar
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    I've come across a couple of smoldering ones, too. Always put them out.

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    Every situation depends on the situation.

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    Every situation depends on the situation.



    agreed....

    however, if it's just a small smoldering fire, and no fuel left on it, i'll just let it smolder down some more....

    to me, if its in a fire ring and contained, i'd rather the fuel go to ash than to see half burnt pieces left over....


    one thing i hate is coming into a campsite and see hall burnt wood (basically charcoaled) in the fire ring......

    my thing is----burn up all that you put in.........if not, then dont put it in...

    and even worse is seeing a huge log that has burn marks on it...........one that clearly would not be able to burnt up in a reasonable period of time.....

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deco View Post
    Did you put it out, or did you just keep hiking?
    I stoke it.

  7. #7

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    I've seen it many times. Even came up on a burning fire in a high wind---the miscreants left long ago. The worst is finding a burning fire smothered in garbage---a loaf of wet bread, a wet shirt, booze bottles, foil, the works. It amazes me to think that the idiots have enough energy to get themselves out of the woods---and don't just fling themselves atop the fire and save themselves the hike out.

  8. #8

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    I can not stand to see litter and/or wood half burned or still burning. If they can not be more responsible, then they need to stay home until they can be. Go into the military, you will learn it very quick.

  9. #9

    Default smoldering campfires

    I thought this topic might provide some good comments and it has. Thanks

  10. #10

    Default smoldering campfires

    I too hate to see trash in a fire, I will usually burn what will burn and pack the rest out. Especially the aluminum foil which will not ever burn.

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    I've seen hikers urinate on smoldering fires. This is why I caution folks about cooking on open fires, especially around shelters. I've also seen some pretty gross stuff being burned in fires. I'm sure most here have seen the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Bumpy View Post
    Every situation depends on the situation.
    Exactly. If it's barely smoldering, it's been wet, and it's in a good fire ring, I might leave it alone. More likely, I would just stir it up/spread it out. If water was close, I'd pour water on it.

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    Registered User The Cleaner's Avatar
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    The only time I would put out a fire if it was during either the spring or fall forest fire season.Just letting one smolder a while will help deter gnats & other pesky bugs.Right now the forest floor is so wet that an unattended fire should be of little concern.However I probably would pack out the non burnable trash anytime.....

  14. #14

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    The forest floor, largely organic leaf debris an fine roots (Duff), can burn like a smoldering carpet, and creep hundreds of yards before flashing back into a full blown forest fire...best to make sure they're completely out.

  15. #15

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    I seen a few fires left burning. I emptied a water bottle on one to put the flames out. Only a caveman would depend on fires for cooking. Most people use a stove and leave no trace and don't have to waste time gathering sticks.

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    Registered User Raymond James's Avatar
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    I watched a group of campers this past weekend leave a campsite with a fire burning still lots of fuel and trash burning in it. I put it out. As a teenager I saw a fire burning on the other side of the lake at a boy scout camp. It was a week or two before summer camp and the ranger was gone for the day. No one in camp that I was aware of . By the time I got to the other side to try and fight it was pretty big. Started fighting it about 5 pm and got it out cold about 4 am. Burned about two acres. From what I could tell someone had left a small smoldering fire that the wind kicked up. If not for the lake being there it would have been much worse. I think you put them out every time you find them.

  17. #17

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    A forest needs a periodic burn.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by chief View Post
    A forest needs a periodic burn.
    yes, preferable controlled burn though.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    I've seen it many times. Even came up on a burning fire in a high wind---the miscreants left long ago. The worst is finding a burning fire smothered in garbage---a loaf of wet bread, a wet shirt, booze bottles, foil, the works. It amazes me to think that the idiots have enough energy to get themselves out of the woods---and don't just fling themselves atop the fire and save themselves the hike out.
    X2 ....... Inexcusable ... to leave a fire smoldering .................. period!!!!!!
    Cherokee Bill ..... previously known as "billyboy"

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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketsocks View Post
    The forest floor, largely organic leaf debris an fine roots (Duff), can burn like a smoldering carpet, and creep hundreds of yards before flashing back into a full blown forest fire...best to make sure they're completely out.
    I came across a smoldering fire in duff a good distance from where some idiot didn't put a camp fire completely out. This was on a popular trail in the Adirondacks. There were half a dozen of us running back and forth to a stream with canteens of water till the rangers got there with real fire equipment.

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