August is fire season, and under these conditions, the safest campfire is none at all. If you do build a fire (check regulations first), choose your design with safety as a priority. Building a fire on rich, dark organic soils can be dangerous–underground roots can spark up hours later in dry weather. Be sure to wait until morning to fill the pit with the removed soil. This is a good setup for camp cooking. It’s not an efficient warming fire, but in August that’s probably not your concern.

How it’s done

1. Choose an open area, such as a stream bank, composed of sandy mineral soils.

2. Dig a pit 8 inches deep and 1 foot across to contain sparks and protect the fire from wind.

3. Keep your flames low, and douse them until you can stir the ashes with your finger.