Creating a Thick Fire Signal


   One of the best ways to get peoples’ attention outside of the woods is to create a thick fire signal. A lot of outdoorsman try to create a good one, but sometimes their smoke is not visible enough for aircraft or people far away to see. Most of the time, the person trying to create the signal actually set the fire correctly, but by the time the smoke reaches the tops of the highest trees around them it has dissipated into the air and isn’t as noticeable for those who are trying to rescue them.

There is a way to create a really good thick fire signal. First, look for a hill, because you need to be at the highest point of elevation that you possibly can. Sometimes if you cannot locate a hill, then try to find a very open piece of land. Next, go ahead and start gathering everything that you will need in order to create the fire itself like limbs and branches. If there are no trees on the point of elevation that you found, then you’ll simply gather what you need from where you are and carry them all up to the hill.

If there are any rocks that you can find, put them around your fire to keep it contained. Dry grass is good to use to feed your fire…so are pine needles. If you have anything rubber, burn it. It will produce very thick smoke. What you’ll be doing is letting the smoke collect, then letting it all go up into the air.

So, atop the big logs and or rocks that are much taller than and circled around your small fire, place large branches that are thick with leaves over it. Let the smoke collect for a few minutes, then lift them and let it all go into the atmosphere. Repeat the steps over and over again, and you will have smoke that shoots miles straight up into the air that any aircraft or people outside the forest will notice for miles. They’ll realize that a signal is being made as a call for help because of the constant big bursts of smoke that rise every few minutes from you covering and removing the branches from over the fire.


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