Campfires can reach temperatures of over 930 degrees Fahrenheit. A campfire can be one of the most useful tools when camping and can be used to cook food, keep campers warm and dry out clothes. It can, however, also be very dangerous if it is not treated with respect.
As little as one second of contact with wood heated to 158 degrees Fahrenheit can inflict a third-degree burn. The average camp fire will reach about 930 degrees after burning for as little as three hours. Because of this, campers should never sleep too close to a campfire and must always keep a close eye on children near the fire.
If a campfire is left unattended or is constructed too large, sparks can fly and start forest fires. These fires can burn down miles of woodland, endangering flora and fauna as well as their natural habitats. Clear a large area of dry leaves and flammable material before lighting a fire, and only ever build it in a controllable size.
For those wishing to cook using a campfire, it is possible to gauge a rough estimate for its temperature by placing a hand about 2 inches away from the embers of the fire and counting. The hand should be removed as soon as it gets too warm. After counting to eight, the fire will be around 570 degrees F, and after counting to four or five, it will be around 660 to 750 degrees F.