An innovative method for building a Leave No Trace fire is the portable fire pan (simply a metal tray with rigid sides at least three inches high). Fire pans were first used by river guides to minimize the impact of their fires, but they are becoming increasingly popular with backpackers and horse packers. Metal oil drain pans and the pans from backyard barbecue grills make effective and inexpensive fire pans, though a few outdoor companies are beginning to market lightweight versions.


  • Use a lightweight stove rather than building a fire.
  • Check local ranger stations for fire regulations
  • Use existing fire circles in heavy-use areas.
  • Build fires away from trees, shrubs, rocks and meadows.
  • Burn only small sticks.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Make sure that fire is DEAD OUT!
  • Scatter the ashes and naturalize the area.
  • Pack out all fire pans and grates. 

Due to the scarcity of wood and small woody material the following restrictions apply to campfires in the wilderness:

Please contact our wilderness permit issuing offices for further details. Violations of regulations under the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 36, may result in a citation and fine. Official orders authorizing regulation enforcement are available in the Forest and District Offices.