Frequently Asked Questions about Fire Use in the Plumas National Forest

Only You Can Prevent Wildfires

What are fire precautions and restrictions? 

Fire precautions and restrictions range from common fire sense to state and federal laws governing fire use.  Precautions and restrictions are needed to reduce unwanted wildfires.

Why have fire precautions and restrictions? 

Accidentally caused fires have historically burned several hundreds to tens of thousands of acres of timberland and have destroyed several residences within the Plumas National Forest.  Fires threaten lives and property and suppression becomes expensive as it escalates.  Precautions and restrictions greatly reduce the risk of wildfire.  These are enforced by Federal and State fire laws.
"Know Before you Go" - Contact the local Ranger Station prior to your visit to determine local conditions and fire use guidelines.

What will happen if I violate Forest Regulations?

You could be issued a violation notice for failing to adhere to Federal and State Laws.  You may also be charged for wildfire suppression costs if a fire you started and/or maintained gets out of control.  Violation of these regulations are a Federal offense punishable as a Class B misdemeanor, by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six (6) months or both. 16 USC 551, and 18 USC 3559 and 3571.

Where are campfires allowed?

Wood and charcoal campfires are allowed in developed campgrounds, picnic areas, and in the forest.  Campfires are not allowed outside of developed campgrounds when the forest proclaims to be in ‘Fire Restrictions’.  

When do I need a California Campfire Permit?

You must obtain a California Campfire Permit if you plan to build a campfire or use a stove, unless you are in a developed recreation area (campground or picnic area) on federal or state land in California.  Remember, wood and charcoal fires are never permitted outside developed campgrounds during Fire Restrictions in the Plumas National Forest.
Permits are available free-of-charge at offices of the Plumas National Forest, the Bureau of Land Management, and CAL FIRE.  Remember that regulations governing campfires are specific to each National Forest and change with weather conditions and the seasons. To protect yourself and the forest, before each visit check with the Forest Service for current fire conditions.

What is the difference between developed and undeveloped (remote) camping?

Developed camping occurs at established campgrounds with services and facilities.  A fee is sometimes charged.  Undeveloped camping means you will be camping outside a developed site, where there will be more opportunities for solitude.

Click here for more information on campfires   (link to campfire page)

Can I go camping while Fire Restrictions are in place?

Yes, although care and caution should be taken when camping at any time of the year.  Check before you go camping with the local Forest Service office for current information about what facilities are open and what uses or areas are restricted or closed.

Click here for more information on fire restrictions  (link to fire restrictions page)