Friday, October 21, 2016

Campfires at Ocean Lakes | What you need to know with cooler weather on tap this weekend

Campfire season is on its way with cooler temperatures arriving in the Myrtle Beach area.

But before you bust out all the campfire gear, brush up on our rules and get tips for making sure your fire doesn’t get out of hand.

Ocean Lakes allows campfires on sites in the campground, but they must be contained in a ring or an elevated fire pit. Guests must stay with the campfire, ensure that it’s completely out and clean up any debris from it.

In addition to the general safety anywhere you have a campfire, guests should take extra precautions here because of the ocean breezes.

“I would just encourage your folks not to have huge ones,” said Kathy Nieuwenhuis, public education officer with Horry County Fire-Rescue. “With any wind those embers can be picked up and deposited somewhere else.”

Reminder: While Ocean Lakes allows campfires at sites in the campground, campfires are NOT allowed on the beach.

Here are a few tips for guests building a fire at their site:

-- Never leave a campfire unattended.

-- Make sure you have water or other way to put out the campfire readily available.

-- Campfires shouldn’t be any more than 2 to 3 feet high or wide.

-- Find a spot without low-hanging branches, bushes or anything else nearby that could catch fire. Be mindful of some of the lingering debris from Hurricane Matthew.

-- Don’t burn dangerous things like aerosol cans, pressurized containers, glass or aluminum cans. They can explode or shatter, or create harmful fumes.

-- Keep a close eye on children and pets near the fire.

When putting out your campfire:

-- Allow the wood to burn completely to ash, if possible.

-- Put lots of water on the fire. Drown all the embers; keep pouring water on it until the hissing sound stops. Not enough water? Stir dirt or sand into the embers with a shovel to bury the fire.

-- Stir the embers around to ensure another fire doesn’t start. The coals should be wet and cold. REMEMBER: If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.

Be safe and have fun!

SOURCES | Kathy Nieuwenhuis with Horry County Fire-Rescue; Lt. Jon Evans with Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue;;