Firewood Cutting

Firewood Cutting on the Klamath National Forest

Firewood cutting is welcome on the Klamath National Forest.  Anyone eighteen years or older may purchase a permit at any Forest Service office.  The personal use firewood cutting permit consists of the permit itself, personal use firewood map, motor vehicle  use map (MVUM) and firewood tags.   The permit is valid for cutting firewood only in the areas designated on the personal use firewood maps.  The permittee must follow all permit conditions and requirements.

The cost for a personal use firewood cutting permit is $5 per cord with a minimum charge of $20.  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.   A commercial permit is $10 per cord.  Fort Jones and Happy Camp require a minimum of five cords, Macdoel has a minimum of ten cords.   There is no limit to the number of commercial firewood permits one can purchase.  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 fee camping or dispersed camping.  However, a free California Campfire Permit is required when building a campfire outside a developed recreation area (campground or picnic area).  Do not take camp fire wood with you when you leave.