How To Put Out A Fire In The Wild When Its Still Burning

Disasters and emergencies such as fires can happen anytime and the effects can be very devastating.

For this reason, it gets me so paranoid to the point that I teach and equip my family with basic skills on how they should stay prepared at all times.

As a way of staying prepared, I learn wilderness survival skills, stockpile food, spends lots of time in the wild camping and hiking and dabble with off-grid living.

In this blog, I get to share how to put out fires in the wild while still burning.

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Fire basics

When it comes to fighting wildlife fires, public safety and your safety will always be the priority.

It will always be critical to know how a fire might behave since there are many factors in play regarding how wildfires burn and it can be not easy to control them.

Fire behavior comes with three sides, which are fuels, topography and weather.

For you to successfully put out a fire, you will have to remove oxygen, fuel and heat.

Putting water and dirt on fire will eliminate the oxygen allowing you to use hand tools such as axels or shovels to put out small fires.

In case of large fires, you will need more workforce and equipment like pumps, bulldozers, engines and water tankers to drop water.

Indirect attack

You can at times choose to use preparatory suppression tactics from a distance away. It’s known as an indirect attack.

Wetting unburned fuels, fire lines and backburning as an indirect attack.

You can also create control lines which are mostly boundaries containing noncombustible material.

Usually, control lines are made by removing combustible material physically using the equipment.

You can also create lines by backfiring, meaning coming up with low-intensity fires using flares and you can direct the resulting fires to meet at the main fire point where both fires will run out of combustible material.

However, any method might fail when the weather changes or when there are high-intensity winds.

Changing winds may result in the fires changing direction and as a result, miss the control lines.

On the other hand, high-intensity winds may lead to spotting or jumping since burning embers are carried via the air over fire lines.

Beware that in times of wildfires, burning trees may fall. Moreover, burning materials can roll across the line and negate the barrier.

Mopping up

When wildfires occur, the threat does not end after the flames have passed since smoldering heavy fuels might continue to burn for days unnoticed even after the flames are not visible.

Mopping up happens after a fire is controlled. It ensures the fire is safe by removing hazardous or burning material.

Mopping up includes;

  • Ensuring debris don’t roll over the fire line
  • Extinguishing any smoldering material on the fire’s edge
  • Ensuring that all burning fuel is buried to prevent sparks from traveling
  • Looking for any underground burning roots close to the line.

Cold trailing

This method involves determining if a fire is still burning or its out, it’s all about carefully inspecting and using your hands to feel if there is any heat source.

Infrared scanning

You may also use infrared scanners to look out for hot spots which are not visible to your naked eye.

Putting Out Wild Fires When They Are Still Burning

Here are some key takeaways when it comes to putting out fire

  1. Your safety and that of the public or your family is always the priority when it comes to putting out fires.

  2. To successfully put out fires, you will need to get rid of the oxygen, fuel and heat.

  3. You can use indirect attack method as a way of fighting fire from a distance.

  4. After a fire, ensure you do mop out to ensure the fire is completely put out.

  5. Cold trailing is a method you can carry out to see if you can still find any heat source once you put out fire.

  6. Infrared scanners will also play a crucial part in helping you detect hot spots that you cant see with your naked eye.

If you need to light a fire in the wild for survival consider a permanent match.