Campfires, Stoves and Charcoal Fire
Regulations governing campfires can change with weather conditions and the seasons. To protect yourself and the forest, before each visit, check with the Forest Service office nearest to your destination for current restrictions.
You can help protect the National Forests from wildfires by knowing and following the rules for the safe use of fire. You must have a California Campfire Permit to use a stove or lantern outside a Developed Recreation Area such as a campground. The permit is your agreement to follow restrictions and regulations in effect.
Your California Campfire Permit is valid until the end of the calendar year; it may be used in any National Forest in California.
Go to any Forest Service, CALFIRE, or Bureau of Land Management office during business hours and a receptionist will issue you a permit. You may also go to this website to get a campfire permit online (please note you will need a printer to print it off).
Campfires - Campfires when permitted, you need to follow five conditions:
- Campfire Permits are required.
- Clear all flammable material away from the fire for a minimum of five feet in all directions to prevent escape of the fire.
- Have a shovel available at the campfire site for preparing and extinguishing campfires.
- Have a responsible person in attendance at all times.
- Extinguish campfire with water, using the drown, stir and feel method.
Take Responsibility... It is your responsibility to know the current conditions and restrictions for the area you intend to visit.
Smoking - Smoldering cigarettes can start fires hours after being dropped or thrown away. Never toss cigarettes out of cars. Smoking is restricted to inside vehicles, developed sites or areas cleared to bare soil 3 feet in diameter. (Subject to current fire restrictions)
Fireworks - Fireworks are not allowed anywhere on the National Forest. Call 911 if you see anyone lighting fireworks in the forest.
Spark Arresters - All OHV's must have a California green or red sticker or be street legal. All vehicles must be equipped with a Forest Service approved spark arrester.
Vehicles - Parking in tall grass or shrubs can start fires because the hot catalytic converter comes in contact with the dry plant materials. Dry, windy conditions can turn smoldering grass into a wall of flames. Don't park where vegetation is touching the underside of your vehicle. Motorcycles and ATV's must have approved working spark arresters.
Burn Permits - No household trash or garbage can be burned outdoors at residences. Dry, natural vegetation, grown on the property, can still be burned outdoors in open piles, unless prohibited by local controls. Don't burn on windy days. More information on burn permits.
Defensible Space - In California, the number of homes and businesses are growing in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) – and fire is an increasing threat. Reduce your home's fire danger and prevent wildfires from spreading by taking responsibility today. Find out more about defensible space from the Mammoth Lakes Fire Protection District.