Yosemite Campfire regulations

5:18 p.m. on July 13, 2016 (EDT)
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Yosemite National Park is experiencing high fire danger, along with continued hot and dry weather patterns. Due to current and predicted fire conditions and fire behavior, the Superintendent of Yosemite National Park implemented Stage 1 Fire Restrictions until further notice.
By order of the Superintendent Yosemite National Park and under authority of Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 2.13(c):

  • You may not build, maintain, attend to or use a campfire or cooking fire (including charcoal fires) within Yosemite National Park, except in designated areas below 6,000 feet in elevation. Portable stoves using pressurized gas, liquid fuel, or propane are permitted, as are alcohol stoves (with and without a shutoff valve) including alcohol tablet/cube stoves. “Sierra” (twig) stoves are not permitted.
  • No smoking below 6,000 feet, except within an enclosed vehicle, a campground or picnic area where wood and charcoal fires are allowed or in a designated smoking area. All public buildings, public areas of concession buildings (including restrooms), other areas as posted and within 25 feet of any non-single family residential building remain closed to smoking at all times.
  • Campfires and cooking fires may still be used in designated campgrounds, picnic areas and residential areas in developed portions of the park in accordance with park regulations. Designated Campgrounds and Picnic Areas: Upper Pines, Lower Pines, North Pines, Yellow Pines, Camp 4, Wawona, Bridalveil Creek, Hodgdon Meadow, Crane Flat, Tamarack Flat, White Wolf, Yosemite Creek, Porcupine Flat, Tuolumne Meadows, Lembert Dome, Tenaya Lake, Glacier Point, Cascade, El Capitan, Cathedral Beach, Sentinel Beach, Swinging Bridge, Church Bowl, and Lower Yosemite Falls.

There are no administrative exemptions to this order. This designation will remain in place until rescinded.
Fire restrictions reduce the probability of an accidental fire that could threaten visitors and employees during times of high fire danger. Cooperation in complying with these temporary restrictions is greatly appreciated.

9:51 a.m. on July 19, 2016 (EDT)
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The last couple of days here, the humidity has been in the single digits, with lots of wind.  The effects of the normal winter have definitely come to an end. It is pretty crispy in the Sierra below about 7,000 feet.

1:10 p.m. on July 19, 2016 (EDT)
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Good reminders. The restriction below 6k is new this year I believe. You didn't mention also no fires above 9,600. Best not to build a fire at all IMHO.

1:20 p.m. on July 19, 2016 (EDT)
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I agree, JR.  In the last ten years and more than 1,000 miles, we've made exactly 2 campfires...

5:06 p.m. on July 27, 2016 (EDT)
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With fires burning in California already, outside of a camping ring in a designated campground, it's best to just not have a fire. With hikes like the JMT, if fires were allowed we would probably have no forest left. I believe fire restrictions are already in place in most of the Sierra and smoke from the 2 fires burning in Big Sur and outside LA are sure to settle over the mountains. They have already reached the Bay Area and are making the sky quite gray.

3:41 a.m. on July 28, 2016 (EDT)
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Into National Forest just banned ALL campfires outside of existing and developed campsites. And they provide a list of those sites. No fires in the back country--only stoves.

8:47 p.m. on August 2, 2016 (EDT)
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I am bummed, haven't been able to use my Solo twig stove in 3 years. I think I am going to convert it to alcohol just so I can get some use out of it. 

12:45 p.m. on August 4, 2016 (EDT)
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It is important to obey the fire regulations.  There is really no point in having a fire in warm weather except to discourage insects.  On the other hand, I like to be outdoors all year, and when fires season is over, the rains come, and the weather gets colder, there is nothing like a good fire.

People need to learn to hide the evidence of fires and be smart with them.  There is no reason to "never build fires."  It is a form of dogma that has become popular lately.  Stoves require the mining of metals, making of plastic, and the recovery of natural gas. They also require fossil fuels for transport, and the disposal of gas cartridges. Fires don't and are carbon neutral.

Now if we could just get the NPS to give up on the idea of prescribed fire in the fall during droughts.  They currently regulate the use of fire carefully by people in the backcountry, but are still enamoured with the idea of natural fire to improve the landscape.  Timing is everything and they have chosen some very questionable timing of their prescribed burns.

4:55 p.m. on August 4, 2016 (EDT)
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Prescribed burns seem to vary by agency round here...I was working on a stream and wetland restoration site at a large landfill when the state forest folks (not in NC but a nearby state) did a prescribed burn in dry season and lit the landfill on fire...

I don't do fires 95% of the time for 2 reasons:

- Laziness is the primary

- I often camp well off trail (1/4 mile or more if I am on  a trail at all) on virgin sites and really like to leave them with as minimal impact as I can.


I do use a Caldera Ti-Tri to burn twigs to cook and leave them going for a fire after dinner in the winter for the atmosphere and heat.  They can leave scorch marks even with the metal base on some surfaces so I try to avoid that by placing on a rock or other tough substrate.

If I am not solo, then fires are much more likely to happen but I'll try to use an existing campsite then if there is no burn ban.

Some of the fire bans in the east that I have experienced have not included the twig stoves (Sierra Zip, Caldera, Bush Buddy etc) - I check with rangers specifically when those are not expressly forbidden.  About half the time they tell me no anyway but the other times I have been allowed.

12:47 p.m. on August 6, 2016 (EDT)
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We had fun in SEKI last week. The regs say no campfires above 9000 feet.  Fishing is all C&R below 9000 feet.  So no way to catch fish and cook them on a fire....

The back country Ranger told us not to worry about C&R where we were, as long as we ate anything we kept.

We cooked two trout in butter on a small aluminum skillet on a gas stove.   Yummy.

2:20 p.m. on August 6, 2016 (EDT)
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Nice...when life serves you a lemon, enjoy it over a fresh caught trout!

February 17, 2019
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