how hot are bonfires

How hot are bonfires? Things You Should Know

Who does not enjoy a campfire while sitting in the wilderness, camping with friends or family? The dancing flames are enough to make the trip fun, entertaining, and memorable. 

Bonfires are the most viable option to roast marshmallows and enjoy your time away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

But, how hot are bonfires? It is enough to melt marshmallows or to melt metals! If treated with care, a bonfire can gradually start at 600 degree Celsius and reach up to 1100 degree Celsius. 

So, here you get all the answers to satisfy your curious mind. In this guide, you can go through all the valuable information regarding how hot bonfires are, how to maintain them, and safety precautions. 

How hot are campfires?

Campfires can get extremely hot, reaching temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to be careful around campfires and to keep a safe distance from the flames. 

So, learn about the average temperature of a fire and how to set up your fire for the most efficient burn. Also, learn about the types of wood and their temperatures so you can safely build a fire.

Average campfire temperature

The average campfire temperature varies from 500 to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the type of fuel and wind conditions. However, a campfire doesn’t have to burn extremely hot to work properly. It should be hot enough to cook food and keep bugs away. It is best to use a cooking thermometer for this purpose.

Cooking food on a campfire doesn’t necessarily require a high temperature. In fact, most recipes don’t require more than 350 degrees Fahrenheit. However, campfires that are over 1200 degrees Fahrenheit may cause metal pieces to melt.

If the fire has reached 1200 or more, and you want to reduce the temperature, then simply move away from the flame. You do not need to extinguish it immediately. 

Cooking Over a hot Bonfire 

Cooking over a campfire is a great way to experience the outdoors, and it is also quite common. Besides being a relaxing activity, it produces a lovely smell. It can also make your cooking experience more satisfying. 

So, if you want to know how hot are bonfires, then you must know whether it would be suitable to cook food in them. Basically, hot coals are easier to cook over than kindling, so start your fire early and keep the fire small. Ensure that the wood you use is dry and pest-free. 

If you are a beginner, you may want to use charcoal as it gives you more control over the heat. Using a suitable pan is another option for cooking over a campfire. You can either buy one or make one from thick branches. Either way, ensure you have a pot that can stand above the fire. 

Wood burns at what temperature?

Before you light a fire in your fireplace, you need to know the temperature at which wood burns. This is also known as the “flash point.” Hardwood burns faster than softwood. Hardwood logs can burn at different temperatures, so ensure they’re completely dry before lighting them. Otherwise, wet wood will take a long time to catch on fire, and the smoke can be difficult to breathe.

If you want to burn maple, you will have to burn it slower than basswood. This is because maple is harder than basswood. You can make a candle out of maple if you want to, but you’ll need to know the exact temperature at which maple burns.

How hot does a wood campfire burn?

There are many factors that affect how hot a campfire will burn, including the type of wood used. 

  • Hardwoods such as oak and hickory tend to burn hotter than softwoods like pine and fir. 
  • The size of the logs also makes a difference – larger logs will burn more slowly and evenly, while smaller pieces of wood will ignite more quickly and burn hotter. 
  • Seasoned wood that has been allowed to dry for at least six months will also burn hotter than freshly cut wood.

The temperature of the woods on a bonfire

The temperature at which wood ignites depends on the type of wood, moisture content, humidity, and coating. The higher the temperature, the longer it takes to ignite. Let’s take a few examples:

  • Oak – burns at around 600 degrees Celsius
  • Hickory – burns at around 700 degrees Celsius
  • Pine – burns at around 400 degrees Celsius
  • Cedar – burns at around 350 degrees Celsius
  • Birch – burns at around 320 degrees Celsius

Also, make sure you never burn wood that is coated in varnish because the chemicals from the varnish can enter the air and cause toxic fumes.

How to Build a Hot Campfire?

Setup is key to how hot are bonfires. Other than this, several factors determine how hot your bonfire will get, including the kind of fuel, dryness of the wood, size, and oxygen flow. A large fire that burns rapidly is generally hotter than a smaller, steadier fire. Regardless of your chosen fuel, a bonfire’s heat will affect the food you cook.

First, make sure that the wood is piled in the right order. Smaller pieces, such as sticks, should go on top of larger pieces. 

Make sure that each stick is roughly an inch (3 centimeters) in diameter. Then, add logs. Logs should be last. This order will ensure that the wood burns at a faster rate.

  • Start with a small mound of tinder in the center of your fire pit. 
  • Add kindling on top of the tinder, followed by small and larger logs. 
  • Use a chimney starter to light the fire from the bottom up, and avoid using accelerants such as gasoline or kerosene. 
  • Once the fire is going, keep adding fuel to maintain a hot blaze. 

What Do Different Colors Mean – How hot are bonfires?

When it comes to flames, different colors can mean different things. For example, a blue flame is generally hotter than a yellow flame. In addition, the presence of chemicals such as carbon and calcium chloride can change the color of a flame. 

As such, knowing the differences between these colors is important when it comes to assessing. The color of the flames reflects the type of substance burning in them. The warmer the fire, the more intense the flame color. But what does that mean for the temperature of the flame?

Here’s a quick guide to understanding what different colors mean for flame temperature:

  • Blue flames are the hottest, reaching up to 3,000 degrees Celsius.
  • Yellow flames are not as hot, reaching only about 1,000 degrees Celsius.
  • Red flames are the least hot, usually maxing out at around 700 to 1800 degrees Celsius. It can be distinguished by Dark Red flames which are 500 to 600 degrees Celsius, and Dull Red which is quite typical and reaches 600 to 800 degrees Celsius.
  • White is quite rare, and the flames can reach up to 1400 to 1600 degrees Celsius.
  • Orange can be seen when the fire burns the air, and it is generally hotter than the core, reaching 1000 to 1200 degrees Celsius. 

So, if you’re looking for a quick way to gauge the temperature of a flame, just take a look at its color. The hotter the flame, the blue-er it will be!

Factors That Affect Your Campfire’s Heat Level

Color isn’t the only thing that can affect a campfire’s heat level. Three main factors will determine how hot your bonfires burn: The type of fuel you’re using, the amount of oxygen your fire is getting, and the size of your fire.

1. The type of fuel you’re using

The type of fuel you’re using will have a big impact on the heat level of your fire. For example, hardwood logs will burn hotter than softwood logs. So, if you’re looking for a hot fire, make sure to use hardwood logs.

2. The amount of oxygen your fire is getting

The amount of oxygen your fire is getting will also affect the heat level. If your fire isn’t getting enough oxygen, it will start to smolder and produce a lot of smoke. On the other hand, if your fire is getting too much oxygen, it will burn very quickly and could potentially get out of control.

3. The size of your fire

The size of your fire will also affect the heat level. A small fire will obviously not be as hot as a large fire. So, if you’re looking for a hot fire, make sure to build a large one. 

Now that you know the three main factors that affect a campfire’s heat level, you can start to experiment with different combinations of fuel, oxygen, and size to find the perfect fire for your needs. Just remember to always be safe when working with fire, and never leave your fire unattended.

Safety Tips 

Bonfires are a great way to spend your evening, but it’s also essential to take safety precautions when you’re around them. Before lighting your bonfire, check the weather conditions. The direction and strength of the wind can affect how well your bonfire burns. 

  • For starters, make sure you keep a distance between the bonfire and any nearby items.
  • build the bonfire in an area that’s large enough for people to gather around and small enough to contain the fire.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended, and make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the area. 
  • Never use accelerants such as gasoline or kerosene to start a fire, and be careful not to overload the fire pit with too much wood. 
  • Supervise children and pets around campfires at all times.

Also, fire is unpredictable, so you must always be prepared for any emergency. Make sure you have the plan to put out the flames if the wind picks up.


What is the hottest part of a campfire?

The hottest part of a campfire is the blue flame. Blue flames can reach up to 3,000 degrees Celsius.

Which is the easiest campfire structure?

The easiest campfire structure is the teepee. To build a teepee, simply arrange your logs in a circular shape and lean them against each other so that they form a cone-like shape. Once you have your teepee built, light it from the inside and let it burn.

How hot are coal bonfires? 

Campfire coals can reach temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Celsius. So, if you’re looking to build hot bonfires, make sure you have plenty of coals.

Which would be suitable – a wood campfire or a charcoal campfire?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on what you’re looking for in a campfire. If you’re looking for hot fire, then you should build a wood campfire. If you’re looking for a fire that burns longer and produces less smoke, then you should build a charcoal campfire. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which type of campfire is best for your needs.

Why does the bonfire look like miniature fireworks?

The answer to this question lies in the fact that campfires, like all fires, need oxygen to burn. When a fire doesn’t have enough oxygen, it will start to smolder and produce a lot of smoke. However, if there’s too much oxygen available to the fire, it will burn very quickly and could potentially get out of control. 

Why a lot of sparks and smoke coming from the bonfire?

It’s likely because there’s too much oxygen available to the flames. To fix this problem, simply remove some of the logs from the fire or build the fire in a smaller space.

How to extinguish a bonfire?

If you’re finished with your bonfire and are ready to extinguish it, there are a few things you need to do. First, make sure that all of the wood is burned down to ash. If there are any large pieces of wood still burning, they will continue to produce heat and could potentially reignite the fire. Once all of the wood is burned down, you can start to smother the fire with dirt, sand, or water. Use enough water to smother the entire fire and check no hot spots remain before leaving the area.

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