Can you have a campfire in Washington State or not?

Illegal campfire ring
Just about everything is wrong with this campfire: too close to trees, not enclosed on all sides, dry pine needles on the ground…. Photo: DNR

Posted July 22, 2010: With summer here, we all wonder whether or not we can have a campfire outdoors.

To find out that answer, you need to contact the landowner whose property you will be on, whether it’s state lands, federal lands, campgrounds or private lands. If your final destination is under DNR protection or if you’re not sure if it is, you need to contact your local DNR Region Office.  

DNR has issued a statewide burn ban in effect until September 30, 2010. Outdoor burning of any sort is banned on all forestlands within Washington that are under DNR fire protection with the exception of campfires within designated campgrounds. The reason for this burn ban is due to the high fire danger during our summer months, especially this year. And, putting out wildfires costs a lot of public money. This can be avoided through careful actions of prevention.

If you get approval to have a campfire, here’s how to extinguish it properly: 

  • Drown fire thoroughly with water.
  • Stir until cold.
  • Drown fire again and stir.
  • Never leave fires unattended at any time until it is completely out.

Remember if there is ever any doubt whether you can have a campfire or not, always contact your area’s DNR Region Office, fire district, or fire department to clarify specific regulations in that area.

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