Firewood Cutting

Firewood Cutting on the Klamath National Forest

Firewood cutting is welcome on the Klamath National Forest.  Anyone eighteen years or older may acquire a permit.  Contact Visitor Information Staff for the most up-to-date requirements.

June 17, 2020 Firewood Information Update

As the impacts from COVID-19 continue to be felt across the country, the US Forest Service is committed to providing services on public lands and doing what’s possible for those in need. As such, the Klamath National Forest will provide free personal use firewood permits through September 30, 2020.

Effective July 1, 2020, woodcutters will be required to hold a free use permit and follow the associated regulations within that permit.  They are required to carry a Klamath National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) and a Personal Use Firewood map for the area where they are cutting.

Permits will be available for issuance beginning June 17 at the three district offices. Up to 12 cords of firewood for personal use is permitted per calendar year. Any previously obtained 2020 firewood permits will count toward the 12-cord limit. If you purchased a 2020 firewood permit prior to office closures, that permit remains valid and can be used.

Please follow the information on the firewood maps and only cut in the areas listed on the maps.  Stay on the roads in the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) to help prevent resource damage to your National Forest.  Maps are available for download from this website or can be mailed to you.  Contact any of the Visitor Information numbers on the left during regular business hours for additional information or to request maps.

As a reminder, it is the responsibility of the permittee to check and be aware of the firewood cutting status in effect on that day. Daily weather conditions my restrict chainsaw use. Firewood cutting restriction information can be obtained by phoning 530-841-4588 at any time. The recorded information is provided and updated by 5pm for the next day.

Firewood Cutting, continued

A cord is a tightly stacked pile of firewood measuring 4’ X 4’ X 8’.  A maximum of twelve cords may be purchased per household per year.  Keep in mind that areas of private land are scattered within and near the boundaries of the Klamath National Forest.  The permit is NOT valid for cutting wood on private land, or on Bureau of Land Management land.

Late spring and late fall are generally the best times to cut firewood.  Most firewood does not burn well when freshly cut.  You should plan on drying firewood for several months before using it.

Where is cutting allowed?

Personal Use Firewood Maps are available for free at our Forest Service offices, and online here.

The Free Personal Use Firewood maps show “General Firewood Cutting Areas” and “Restricted Cutting Areas.”  The maps explain what is allowed in each area.  Among other rules, Restricted Cutting Areas only allow firewood to be removed within 100 feet of roads shown on current Motor Vehicles Use Maps.  Firewood cutting is not allowed in Wilderness areas (except for campfires, see below).

The Goosenest Ranger District regularly designates special “firewood areas.”  These may be sites of recent timber harvest, wildfire, or where fuels reduction is needed.  Firewood in these special areas tends to be more plentiful.  Off road vehicle use is permitted in all of the special firewood areas on the Goosenest Ranger District, but high-clearance vehicles with good tires are recommended.  Locations and maps of special firewood areas are available from Forest Service offices.

The Scott River, Salmon River, Oak Knoll and Happy Camp Districts have at times also designated special “firewood areas” but without extra off-road vehicle use.  Contact any Klamath National Forest district office or the Supervisors office for information about these areas.

Remember to follow the rules and conditions for both the firewood permit and the Klamath National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Maps.  Consult your permit and maps to see how far off the road you may drive a vehicle to collect firewood.

Fire prevention precautions

It is the responsibility of permittee to check and be aware of the firewood cutting status in effect.  Firewood cutting restriction information can be obtained at any Forest Service Office or by phoning 530-841-4588 at any time.  The following recorded information is provided and updated by 5pm for the next day:

  • YES / LOW, MEDIUM or HIGH Fire Danger rating = Woodcutting all day
  • YES / VERY HIGH Fire Danger rating = Woodcutting until 1:00 pm
  • NO / EXTREME Fire Danger Rating = No woodcutting

For woodcutting in Happy Camp, Oak Knoll, Salmon River, and Scott River listen to the West Zone danger rating. For the Goosenest, listen to the East Zone.

Equipment Regulations

It is the permittee’s responsibility to comply with all equipment regulations.  Chainsaws and other internal combustion engines must be equipped with a California-approved spark arrestor.  As a fire precaution, permittees are required to have a UL-approved fire extinguisher or a shovel with an overall length of at least 46” inches within 25 feet of chainsaw operations.

Commercial Firewood Permits

The District offices in Macdoel, Fort Jones, and Happy Camp sell commercial firewood permits.  Contact these offices for information.  Commercial firewood permits are specific to each Ranger District, and are not available at the Supervisor’s Office in Yreka.

Firewood for Camp Fires

A permit or fee is not required for firewood gathered in association with camping in developed campgrounds.  For additional information go to the Forest Products for Personal Use page.