How to Build a Bonfire
Here’s a step by step guide on how to build a bonfire if you are camping or are preparing for guy fawkes or bonfire night.
If you need to build a bonfire then you need to prepare in advance rather than just chucking a load of dry wood in your garden and setting fire to it. Of course the dangers are high as other parts of your garden may catch fire such as trees, your shed or fence but of course if you go wrong nothing may happen so follow these steps to build the perfect bonfire.
What makes a fire? Well it’s simple – air, or oxygen, and something that’s going to burn. If it’s a windy day the fire may spread so be careful in your planning.
1: Preparation. Before anything happens make sure there is a lot of space around where you are intending to have your bonfire and that means away from the house, preferably in a field. You can get a brazzier (like a small dustbin) where you can have small fires but if you’re going big get some space. The heat generated by the fire will be immense and stay hot for a long time after it’s gone out so keep anything that’s flamable away, including the car !
Hopefully you’ll have access to water. A hosepipe is a must just in case things get out of control but plenty of buckets of water should be around. When the fire is starting to go out it will create a lot of smoke that your neighbors won’t take kindly too so the water will dampen down what’s left. You should also have some stakes to move the fire around and push it back together. Wooden stakes will catch fire and metal will get hot so find something that’s going to tackle the job properly.
2: Materials. Of course not everything will burn and some items will explode or give off toxic fumes. So if there are children present keep your materials to standard items such as wood that hasn’t been stained. The wood should be dry as well. Many bonfires don’t catch light because it’s rained the night before or it’s freshly cut so is still moist inside.
3: Construction. You need to prepare everything in advance so you are not adding to the bonfire once it’s lit and firing on all cylinders so build it up like a tepee. This means putting kindling down first, which is smaller twigs and paper if necessary then build around it with larger logs. You want air to be able to get into the center parts. A tepee construction maybe unstable as the larger logs burn and fall over so perhaps construct it like you would a fire at home still having smaller kindling in the middle but adding logs on top of each other. Once the fire gets hold it will go crazy so stand well back.
Pictures of bonfires
Here are some pictures of bonfires burning away the one on the right is a tepee type and as you can see they are going great guns.
Hopefully that answers your question on how to build a bonfire safely so good luck and share your stories with us!
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