1. Choose a great spot, at least 5 metres from anything flammable, buildings, sheds, trees, bushes etc. Either dig a round hole about 12 inches deep into the ground to keep your fire contained, or make a circle the same size out of large rocks, bricks etc
2 Place two logs in the middle of the circle, 2-3 ft apart (depending on the size of your bonfire), and fill the space between them with dry twigs, leaves, newspaper and other 'tinder'. Stack two more logs on top, running them in the opposite directions, and then fill the space between with tree branches or light planks of wood. Cover the branches with more tinder.
3 Carry on building the fire, alternating the logs and packing with tinder until you have three or four layers to form a platform.
4 Stack longer, larger planks, branches, logs etc around the platform to make a teepee shape, working one layer at a time around the platform, leaving a small gap at one side where you can place newspaper to light the fire.
5. After checking all around to make sure that no-one is too close to the fire, twist a piece of newspaper into a long tube and light the end. Stick the newspaper into the door of your bonfire and cover the opening with a piece of wood to prevent the wind from blowing it out. Wait for the flame to catch the kindling material, and watch your bonfire grow.
Tips & Warnings
Place the smallest pieces of wood on the inside as you build your tepee shape, adding larger logs to the outside. These pieces should be placed at an angle so that the burning wood falls in towards the centre of your fire instead of out where it can harm people and spread the flames.
Keep plenty of water filled buckets or sand nearby in case of emergency, and never leave the bonfire unattended.
Remember, large fires can keep burning for hours, and can still be very hot even the morning afterwards. When your party is over, always put it out fully by covering all burning material with water or sand until there is no trace of hot embers or logs left.
IMPORTANT : If you build your fire before the night of your party, make sure you check it really well before you light it in case any hedgehogs or other small animals have taken a liking to it as a winter nest!
Member since: 10th July 2012
Hi, I'm Sarah. I've lived in Heanor with my family for over 10 years and I'm passionate about our beautiful little corner of this historical county. If you know of something that's great about our area,...