Firewood Cutting Permits

Woodcutting permits will be available to local woodcutters in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Permits go on sale April 27, 2020 so that people can start using their new permits beginning May 1.

“In an effort to continue to curb the spread of COVID-19, the process to buy a woodcutting permit will be a bit different this year,” Forest Supervisor Kristin Bail said. “People will need to purchase them over the phone and not in person, thus the delay between the date we start selling permits and when they go into effect.”  [*In the Winthrop area, local vendors will also be selling woodcutting permits]. More Information

Those wishing to cut their own firewood can obtain a woodcutting permit from any Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest office. The minimum permit purchase is 4 cords ($20) and the maximum is 12 cords for $60.

You can purchase a permit to cut firewood from national forest lands in the Tonasket area beginning April 1; permits available May 1 in all other areas of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Please contact the appropriate Ranger District for office hours and when permits are available for sale.  

For woodcutting on Chelan, Entiat, Wenatchee River and Cle Elum Ranger Districts, see Woodcutting Information and Maps publication [2-page PDF: 4.3mb]

New Woodcutting Area Opens on the Entiat Ranger District

Viewing and Printing Tips for Woodcutting Maps: 
First, save the map you want to your computer by right-clicking on the link and then selecting "Save link as..." in pop up menu. (You can also go to the map link and once map loads you can right click on map and do a "Save as...")  Either way you can rename map when you save it, since it defaults to database name. Then open the file with Acrobat Reader (or Acrobat Pro). Zoom way in to the area you want to view and/or print. To print that zoomed in view, go to Print, then under More Options select "Current View" and also "Fit" under page sizing. Then print it.  

For woodcutting on Methow Valley and Tonasket Ranger Districts, see links to PDF documents below:

For information and map for woodcutting on Naches Ranger District, see Naches Ranger District Woodcutting page

When woodcutting, always be sure to carry the fire equipment listed on the woodcutting permit and properly secure and tag the load of wood.

Both the woodcutting permit and the woodcutting tags need to be in the woodcutter’s possession when gathering wood. Always check to find out what the Industrial Fire Precaution Level is before heading to the woods to do some woodcutting. This information is also available at any Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest office. The best woodcutting times are in the spring and fall. Contact local Ranger District offices for details.

Firewood cutting is only allowed in designated areas (except National Forest lands in Okanogan County, where firewood gathering is allowed anywhere within 200 feet of a signed, unblocked forest service road as long as you’re outside riparian areas). Snag felling is prohibited on the Cle Elum Ranger District. Maps for designated areas accompany the permit. The maximum is 12 cords (when used for personal use).

1. Please read your firewood permit carefully and completely.

2. The permit and woodcutting stubs must be in your possession when cutting firewood. The following equipment is also required at the cutting site when using a power saw:

  • Saw with exhaust system in good repair and a scree-type spark arrestor of 0.023" or less and qualified under USDA Forest Service Standards.
  • Shovel: Long-handled round point with an 8" blade in possession of operator.
  • Fire extinguisher: Pressurized chemical of not less than 8-ounce capacity by weight and in possession of operator.

3. Each load ticket allows you to haul 1/2 (one-half) cord of wood. If your vehicle is large enough to allow you to transport more than 1/2 cord of wood, a load ticket must be attached for each 1/2 cord of wood hauled. This ticket must be marked to indicate the month and day of use, and be attached to the load when the vehicle is moved from the cutting site.

illustration of a cord of wood
Cord of Wood

A standard, full cord of wood is a volume of 128 cubic feet, measured as a pile 8 feet long, 4 feet high and 4 feet wide. A full cord can weigh up to 5,000 pounds.


illustration of wood in a small pickup truck
Small Pickup -- 1/4 ton

With or without racks this truck bed holds approximately 1/2 (one-half) cord of wood. One load ticket required.


illustration of firewood in a short bed pickup truck
Short Bed Pickup -- 1/2 ton

With or without racks this truck bed holds approximately 1/2 (one-half) cord of wood. One load ticket required.


illustration of firewood in a long bed pickup truck
Long Bed Pickup -- 1/2 or 3/4 ton

Without racks this truck bed holds approximately 1/2 (one-half) cord of wood. One load ticket required.

With racks this truck bed holds approximately 1 (one) cord of wood. Two load tickets required.


illustration of firewood in a standard 1-ton truck
Standard Truck -- 1 ton

With high racks this truck bed holds approximately 1 1/2 (one and a half) cords of wood. Three load tickets required.

Please note that trucks may be overloaded when filled with wood. Check the owner's manual for your vehicle to see what load weights the truck can safely haul and make sure your vehicle is licensed for the weight you will be hauling.

Save money!

Five easy ways to make your wood fuel last longer

Keep your wood dry

  • Split wood before you stack it.  Wood pieces 3 ½ to 6 inches in diameter dry easiest and burn best.
  • Stack wood loosely in alternating directions to help it dry.
  • Store wood at least 6 inches off the ground.
  • Cover your wood.
  • Give it a year.  Wood that has been split, dried, and stored under cover for at least a year burns best.

Burn with care

  • Build small fires to help the wood burn completely.  Adding too much wood at one time cuts down on the air to the fire and leaves you with unburned wood. 
  • Keep your fire hot. Dampering down your stove just cuts off the air, which wastes wood, creates a lot of smoke, and produces very little heat. 

Check your chimney smoke

  • If you can see smoke coming from your chimney, you’re wasting fuel and your fire needs more air.

Use the right wood stove or fireplace for your home

  • Use a wood stove or fireplace that is certified in Washington, the right size, and properly installed.  For details, go to the Department of Ecology web site at and click on the wood stove/fireplace photo.

Obey burn bans

  • Call 1-800-406-5322 and listen for woodstove burn ban language or go to to see if there is a burn ban where you live. If there is, don’t burn.  Burning during a ban can harm your family’s health or cause a fire danger.