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Why you need a permit for campfires or debris burning in California

Without a campfire permit or debris burning permit, you risk violating regulations, facing fines, and even criminal charges. Unpermitted fires can lead to devastating wildfires, endangering lives, property, and landscapes.

A campfire or debris burning permit signifies your commitment to understanding the rules of responsible fire use and preventing wildfires. It’s your way of protecting our state’s natural beauty.

Apply for a campfire permit now and learn more about campfire and debris burning permits by exploring our FAQs below.

Get your permits

Campfire and burn permits help prevent wildfires.

Decorative icon. Get your campfire permit

hotdogs cooking over a campfire

Illegal campfires can lead to devastating wildfires, endangering lives, property, and landscapes. Help to prevent wildfires by securing your campfire permit today.

Apply now

Decorative icon. Get your burn permit

fire and embers

Need to burn debris? Make sure you do it safely by obtaining a debris burning permit, now available online with CAL FIRE in select areas of California.

More info


CAL FIRE, a dedicated government agency, safeguards California through fire prevention, protection, and emergency response. As the leading authority on wildfire prevention in California, we’re responsible for managing campfire permits and are often the first responders for floods, fires, medical aid, and more. With fire protection services covering 31 million acres of California’s wildlands, our goal is to contain 95% of fires within 20 minutes.

California campfire
& debris burning

What you need to know

Yes, campfires are allowed, but regulations ensure safe use and environmental protection. Enjoying a campfire responsibly contributes to California’s beauty and safety.

Campfires are permitted on federally controlled lands and private lands owned by others. On private lands, always respect private property and obtain written permission from the landowner.

Obtaining your California Campfire Permit is now easier than ever. Our online process allows you to secure your permit quickly. Just click the link below to get started.

Campfire permits are free of charge, making responsible fire use accessible to everyone.

Here in California, there are two types of campfire permits:

  • Campfire permits for federally controlled lands: These permits grant you access to campfires, barbecues, and portable stoves on federally controlled lands, ensuring memorable outdoor experiences while prioritizing safety.
  • Campfire permits for private lands: Planning a campfire on privately-owned lands? This permit is essential. Always obtain written permission from the landowner for a responsible fire experience, respecting private property rights.