Resource: CA Campfire Permits - How To Get One


Senior Staff

Campfire Permits are designed for use on federally controlled lands including those falling under the US Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management, and private lands that are the property of another person. On private lands you must also have written permission from the landowner for campfire use.

Permits are required for open fires, such as campfires, barbecues and portable stoves.

Permits are subject to restriction by local authorities. The need for restrictions is reviewed almost daily during the summer months and permits may even be suspended without advance notice. Permittees must check with local authorities each time they go out to an area.

Permits can be issued by the US Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Park Service (NPS), and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) or online at


  1. Clear all flammable material away from the fire for 10 feet in all directions to prevent escape of the fire.
  2. Have a shovel available at the campfire site for preparing and extinguishing campfires.
  3. Have a responsible person in attendance at all times.
  4. Extinguish campfires with water, using the drown, stir, and feel method.

You can contact the CAL FIRE at 916-653-5123, USFS at 707-562-8737, BLM at 916-978-4400, or refer to the individual National Park at, for more information.


Do we need separate permits for the DRV? I'm assuming no.. I was just going to throw my wood into the "bonfire" pile...

Oh.. never mind, I see that anything "open flame" including propane BBQ constitutes a campfire. I got my permit, and I will print it out and bring it with me.


We only need my permit for DRV ;)

Better safe than sorry I guess.. I figure if I'm off in my "camping spot" cooking my own dinner, I would rather have my own permit and not need it, than not have it, and need it. It's 5 minutes to watch the video and answer a few questions. I suggest everyone get one, just to have one, especially because they are good until the end of the year!


Founding Member
As much as I hate all of the government permits, park passes, etc, I went ahead and did this. It's almost too stupid simple not to do it. I printed enough copies to stick one in each of my vehicles just in case I'm out in the boonies somewhere and a ranger is bored enough to hassle me about a camp stove!
And when you go to print the permit, you only need to print page 1. The second page is a cartoon rendition of Drown/Stir/Feel fire extinguishment.


Permits now available ONLINE

Just thought everyone would like to know about a new policy from Cal Fire that allows Fire Permits to be had online. Should simplify things for everyone.

Here's the press release:
California Fire Agencies Roll Out Online Campfire Permit
Fire Prevention Urged for Memorial Day Weekend

Sacramento - As Californians make their Memorial Day weekend and summer vacation plans, CAL FIRE
and federal fire agencies want to ensure vacationers obtain necessary campfire permits and learn how to
have a campfire safely. The California Wildfire Coordination Group (CWCG) unveiled the new fire
prevention website,, which for the first time offers an online campfire permit

“The new online system makes it easier for Californians to get a permit, while still taking the time to learn
how to have a campfire safely,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director. “It is critical that a responsible
adult be in attendance of your campfire at all times and that it is completely extinguished before you leave
to avoid sparking a wildfire. One less spark means one less wildfire.”

Fire officials from the CWCG, an interagency wildfire group comprised of local, state and federal fire
agencies including CAL FIRE, spent months creating the new system which includes a short video and test
prior to issuing the permit. While permits are still available at any CAL FIRE, US Forest Service, or BLM
station or office, the online option is a quick and easy way to obtain a permit before beginning any trip in
California; all a person needs is a computer with internet access and a printer. After watching a brief video
on proper campfire techniques, the applicant will take a short quiz about the video and then receive their
printable permit for free.

CAL FIRE reminds everyone that fire safety plays an important role outdoors, especially when it comes to
campfires and outdoor cooking. Many unattended and improperly extinguished campfires have resulted in
wildfires. With California in a severe drought and extremely dry conditions, not taking the time to ensure
you have completely extinguished your campfire could result in a devastating wildfire.

Campfires can also be extremely dangerous for children and should never be allowed to play around them
or outdoor cooking appliances. Devastating burn injuries are all too common when these safety rules are not
followed. Just a little forethought could protect you and your family.

Here are some simple tips to ensure a safe campfire:
 Obtain a campfire permit and make sure there are not fire restrictions in the area.
 Use only approved and established campgrounds and campfire rings.
 Locate the campfire a safe distance away from tents, trees, or buildings.
 Clear the area around your campfire down to soil 5 feet from the fire’s edge.
 Never let children use or play with lighter fluid or have them start a campfire.
 Completely extinguish campfires before leaving or going to bed.

To obtain an online campfire permit or to learn more fire prevention tips on “One Less Spark, One Less
Wildfire” visit
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