How to make a fire in a fire pit?

How to make a fire in a fire pit?


Making a fire in a fire pit is a popular activity for outdoor gatherings, camping trips, or simply enjoying a cozy evening in your backyard. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a novice fire-maker, understanding the process of building a fire in a fire pit is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of making a fire in a fire pit, ensuring you have all the necessary knowledge and precautions to do it right.

Choosing the Right Location

Location matters: Before starting a fire in a fire pit, it’s crucial to choose the right location. Ensure that the fire pit is placed on a non-flammable surface, such as concrete or gravel, and is at least 10 feet away from any structures, trees, or flammable materials. This will help prevent accidental fires and ensure the safety of everyone involved.

Gathering the Necessary Materials

Materials used: To make a fire in a fire pit, you will need the following materials:

1. Firewood: Choose dry firewood that has been seasoned for at least six months. Hardwoods like oak, maple, or birch are ideal as they burn longer and produce less smoke.
2. Kindling: Small sticks, twigs, or newspaper can be used as kindling to start the fire.
3. Fire starters: You can use commercial fire starters or make your own using wax-coated cardboard or cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly.
4. Matches or a lighter: Ensure you have a reliable way to ignite the fire.

Building the Fire

Step 1: Clear the area: Remove any debris or flammable materials from the fire pit area, ensuring a clean and safe space to build your fire.

Step 2: Create a base: Place a layer of kindling in the center of the fire pit. Crisscross the sticks or twigs to allow for proper airflow.

Step 3: Arrange the firewood: Stack the firewood on top of the kindling in a teepee or log cabin structure. Leave enough space between the logs for air circulation.

Step 4: Ignite the fire: Use matches or a lighter to ignite the kindling from multiple points. Start at the base and work your way up, ensuring the flames catch onto the firewood.

Maintaining and Extinguishing the Fire

Maintaining the fire: As the fire burns, add more firewood gradually to keep it going. Avoid overcrowding the fire pit, as it can restrict airflow and smother the flames. Use a poker or tongs to rearrange the logs and maintain a steady burn.

Extinguishing the fire: When you’re ready to extinguish the fire, allow the wood to burn down completely. Use a bucket of water or a hose to douse the fire, ensuring all embers are fully extinguished. Stir the ashes to cool them down and check for any remaining hot spots before leaving the fire pit unattended.


Building a fire in a fire pit can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, but it’s important to prioritize safety. By choosing the right location, gathering the necessary materials, and following the proper steps to build and maintain the fire, you can create a warm and inviting atmosphere while minimizing the risk of accidents. Remember to always follow local regulations and guidelines regarding fire safety.


– National Park Service:
– The Spruce:
– REI Co-op: