toasting marshmallows over a small fire during winter in Edmonton

How to Have a Safe Backyard Bonfire This Winter

During the chilly winter months in and around Edmonton, there’s nothing quite like cozying up with your loved ones for a fire.

A backyard bonfire is perfect for evening talks, fresh air, roasting marshmallows, and keeping warm while gazing up at the star-filled sky.

Before you start practicing your campfire songs, check out these bonfire tips to make sure your special event is a safe one.


Check With Local Authorities

Some communities have restrictions on building a bonfire in your backyard and for building a proper firepit. Find out whether a bonfire is allowed and whether you need a permit. Make sure you have the necessary permission and permit (if necessary) before you start building your fire.

You may also consult with your local fire department for fire safety instructions and whether the conditions are appropriate for building a safe bonfire.


Prepare the Bonfire Site

Clear away any brush and set bricks or stones around the perimeter of your planned fire. You can also dig a shallow hole in the ground and surround it with stones if you want to create a semi-permanent fire pit.

Collect sticks and twigs from your yard to use as tinder. If you recently ground stumps on your property, you can use the debris as tinder, as well. Arrange the tinder materials in a tee-pee shade in the center of your fire pit.

Next, find large pieces of wood like tree branches to act as kindling. The tinder will burn quickly when lit, but the kindling will continue to burn longer and hotter until the main fuel logs catch fire.

Finally, place your firewood on either side of the kindling, leaving space for air to circulate. Continue stacking these logs up to five high.


Light the Fire

Using a match, light tinder at the center of your bonfire. Use a stick or metal rod to adjust the logs' position as the kindling catches fire and the flames spread to the outer fuel logs.

Ensure everyone stays a safe distance from the fire on the outside of the stones or bricks you placed around the fire pit.

Always have a bucket of sand or water or a garden hose nearby in case of emergencies.


Fun and Safe

Once your bonfire is lit, and everyone is nice and toasty, you can start singing songs or making s'mores. Make sure to watch the fire closely to ensure it stays within your fire pit. When you're ready to end your event, practice firepit safety by putting the fire out completely with no burning embers left behind.


Hiring Local Tree Care Experts Can Make Your Backyard Safer

These bonfire safety tips can help ensure safe, happy memories around the fire. Here is one more tip: If you have a lot of trees in your backyard, it is advisable to keep them pruned or trimmed to reduce any risks of your bonfire spreading. You can even save up or use the debris for kindling! If you’re interested in picking up some free firewood in the Edmonton area, just give us a call!

All Seasons Tree Service can help you maintain your trees, remove dead or unwanted trees, and even provide you with firewood for your next bonfire or firepit. Contact us today to learn more about all of our tree services.