This answer on another question says that there is a risk of causing a forest fire when using a flare.

Is there a recommended/safer way to use flares that lessens this risk, in the event that someone must use a flare (even against the risk of fire)?

Obviously, one shouldn't shoot a flare directly at dry wood, but are there other practices that should be avoided when using flares?

  • 1
    Wait for a lot of rain? In a rescue situation not really an option.
    – paparazzo
    Apr 26, 2017 at 0:28

1 Answer 1


I would say that the alternatives in the the answers to the linked question would be a better idea, but if you had to use a flare then there are a couple of things that could lessen but not eliminate the risk.

  • Shoot the flare in such a way that when it comes down, it ends up in a body of water such as a lake.
  • If that is not possible shoot it in such a way as to maximize the flight time so that it will hopefully have burned out by the time it lands. This would normally be straight up,

    Flare guns should be pointed up into the air when fired. Shooting the flare straight up also makes it easier for others to determine your position and maximizes its visibility. Aerial flares can travel 500 feet high when fired directly up, making them powerful enough to be lethal if shot at a person or animal, so use caution and observe gun safety rules when handling one.


    if there was wind then I would shoot it into the wind for a higher trajectory. Also, if you shoot it straight up, in theory it should come down closer to where you are and hopefully you could run over and cover it with dirt and make sure it is completely out.

Realistically, all of the alternatives are so much better and less hazardous that I would use one of them instead.


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