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California Camp Fires

Fire California
Download a campfire permit online.

Found this sign at Snake Lake Campground, near Quincy, CA

Fire California

Where there's smoke, there's fire.

Yosemite foothills, Redinger Lake does not allow campfires, due to extreme wildfire danger: low elevation, dry hills and remote location in the western Sierra.

California Campfires

Fire California

Online Campfire Permits

Campfire permits can be obtained from these agency station or office:

  • Cal Fire
  • National Forest - USFS
  • BLM

    Forest Ranger Forest Ranger Forest Ranger

    California suffers numerous wildfires every year. Please don't be the cause of one; You can be held legally liable for any unattended fire, or wildfire that you cause. Campfire permits are issued at no charge to insure fire restrictions are followed correctly. Southern California regions are very strict on fire permits. Please contact the forest rangers directly for regulations.

    This permit is good for stoves, fuel lanterns or campfires. Visit a ranger station; show your drivers license to a ranger & they can issue you a permit after you have reviewed the precautions & fire safety laws. Campfire permit is valid from the date issued until the end of the calendar year. It may be used in any National Forest in Northern California or in the Sierra Nevada. See camp fire safety page.


    limited camp fire options in these SoCal forests

    Angeles National Forest

    Cleveland National Forest

    Los Padres National Forest

    San Bernardino National Forest

    Camp Fires in California

    $ FREE annual pass

    Most National Forest permit camping outside of developed campgrounds, except for Southern California, where wild fire danger is greatest. Campers must always have a camp fire permit if planning on burning a campfire outside of a campground. Always double check with ranger to make sure on fire restrictions, and IF CAMPFIRES are even permitted. During dry drought years of extreme wildfire danger, entire forests may ban campfires entirely, even inside regular campgrounds.

    Must ALWAYS have a campfire permit when camping outside a developed campground.

    (also known as - free camping, primitive camping, dispersed camping, boondocking, open camp, dry camp, backpacking, wilderness camping, horse packing, backroads camping, SUV camping, OHV camps, 4x4 camps, 4x4 lake camping)

      • stove
      • lantern
      • campfires
    • Agreement to follow campfire restrictions & regulations in effect.
    • Valid from the date issued, until the end of the calendar year.
    • May be used in any National Forest, permitting open fires.
    • Always have shovel, water source & bucket.

    Fire Restrictions in California

    Fire restrictions change throughout the year depending on fire hazard. When no stage restrictions are in effect, you may use a stove, lantern, or campfire in accordance with the regulations listed on your permit. Fire hazard is determined by the fuel moisture content in an area (the amount of moisture present in the surrounding trees and brush) and by local weather patterns, which include the temperature, the prevailing winds, and the relative humidity.

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    California National Forest
    Wilderness Areas

    Sometimes a wilderness permit serves as your fire permit. Other Wilderness area regulations may require you to have both a fire permit and a wilderness permit. In wilderness areas where no Wilderness permit is required, you must always have a campfire permit to use a camp stove, BBQ or build a fire.

    Anza Borrego State Park
    will let you camp almost anywhere, but does not allow ground fires. Use a metal container or fire pit & carry your ashes home. Yep, for real. We don't want to scar those white sandy washes.

    Old Washtub Fire Pit

    Renewing Campfire Permit

    Your campfire permit can be obtained in person at any Forest Service office (USFS/USDA), California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection office (CalFire), or Bureau of Land Management Office (BLM). Campfire permits are now issued online as well (see above for top image). You can renew a previous permit in person or online. No more renewals by mail.

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