Road flares contain strontium nitrate in addition to other ingredients (potassium nitrate or potassium perchlorate, sawdust, charcoal, maybe some sulfur, magnesium, or aluminum). Strontium salts burn bright red. If you want to make red fire and aren't in a position to order strontium salts it's easy to harvest material from a road flare. Here's what you do:
- Take a pocket knife or steak knife and carefully cut open the cardboard tube of the flare.
- Pour the powder into a bowl or jar.
- You can sprinkle this powder sparingly onto a camp fire or fireplace fire.
- You can store unused powder in a paper bag. Keep it dry, but away from heat and flame.