Build a bonfire for a special date

We call our crushes “flames” and talk about “lighting someone’s fire” all the time, and it’s no wonder so much fiery language is included in our romantic lives.

Fires are ever-so-alluring for date night, whether you’re snuggling on a beach or staring into the leaping flames in your own backyard.

In Georgia, personal open fires are legal, even during Summer Burn Ban, which runs from May 1 to Sept. 30, provided you’re not burning debris cleared from your garden or land. And at no time is it like tires or garbage or household waste.

Recreational fires for mature people attracted to one another are an entirely different prospect than those smoky, smelly, smoldering heaps–or from the frenzy of bonfires omnipresent in ‘60s flicks like Annette Funicello’s “Beach Blanket Bingo.”

“A fire is like a beautiful sunset, it changes the mood,” Leroy Hite, founder and CEO of Cutting Edge Firewood, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s universal, primal, unifying.”

Hite’s company is based in Peachtree Corners and sells kiln-dried firewood via a storefront. It offers same-day local delivery, and mail orders to 48 states.

He said that some adults who think they don’t like hanging out around a fire have probably only experienced a poorly planned bonfire consisting of green or seasoned wood, either of which can smoke you out or never properly catch fire.

Are you interested in the type of bonfire or campfire that will mesmerize and impress your date — whether that’s a lifelong companion or a certain someone you’re hoping to get to know better?

Hite had these tips.

Light your fire in a safe place

“You could use a space on the ground cleared of combustibles and with stones placed around it,” Hite said. “But for the first time you try this, it’s easier to opt for a fireplace or a fire pit — you can spend $100-$200 non a nice one that will last you for years.”

It’s also a good idea to have a fire extinguisher nearby, according to Hite.

Choose the right wood

Opt for dry oak, cherry, or hickory over green or seasoned wood, so you “don’t spend the whole time messing with the fire instead of interacting with each other,” Hite said.

Your date will probably prefer cherry.

“It has a subtle sweet aroma, and if you have a fire during spring or summer it’s not quite as hot,” Hite said. “The advantage of hickory is that it burns hotter. If it’s chilly out or cold and you want to snuggle, hickory will win the day.”

Allocate a box of firewood

A box will burn for about four hours, giving you plenty of time to sit and talk and sip wine or whiskey or your favorite beverages, Hite said.

Go on, make the s’mores

“Many times, adults on a date avoid s’mores, thinking they’re too childish. Ironically, that’s what adults like. S’mores make a date playful, and being playful on a date is a good thing.”

When your date is agreeable to camping out for a day or two, you might also want to try this romantic gesture as part of an overnight stay.

It is also permissible to light fires at Georgia State Parks, as long as you follow guidelines prohibiting gathering firewood, and you use only park-provided fire rings to protect the campsite surface from flames.

The park service also requires campers to burn the wood until it becomes ash and ensure it’s cold before departing.

One campfire date setting is Acworth’s Red Top Mountain State Park on 12,000-acre Lake Allatoona. It offers 20 cottages, six yurts, and 93 tents, trailers, and RV campsites to reserve, and also features a sand beach.

Who knows, if this romantic date leads to an engagement or the suggestion to renew your vows, you may want to hold the event at the park with a bonfire for all who attend to enjoy.