Pet Restrictions in Effect March 15 through Labor Day
Dogs/other pets (except for service animals) are not allowed in the wilderness or on any of Fire Island's federally owned oceanfront beaches from March 15 through Labor Day to help protect threatened and endangered beach-nesting shorebirds. More »
Backcountry Camping Permit and Access Procedures
Reservations for required permits must be obtained through www.recreation.gov. Due to the breach at Old Inlet, access to both east and west wilderness camping zones must now be from Watch Hill or points west, and involve a 1½ to 8 mile hike. More »
Attention Watch Hill Ferry Passengers
Due to channel conditions, delay or cancellation of ferry service between Patchogue and Watch Hill may occur. For updated ferry schedule information, please call 631-475-1665.
Origin of "Fire Island"
Fire Island—the genesis of its name sparks our imagination.
There are conflicting views as to the origin of the name Fire Island. The island may have been named after Fire Island Inlet, which appeared on a deed in 1789, and the inlet’s name may have started as a simple spelling error.
Under another hypothesis, the name originates from the fires reportedly set by pirates to lure vessels to shore.
Some say poison ivy gave Fire Island its name, either for its red leaves in autumn or its fiery itch.
Regardless of whether any of these hypotheses are true, the name Fire Island has long been applied to the western part of Fire Island. The more easterly part of the barrier island was known as Great South Beach until about 1920, when common usage extended the Fire Island name to the rest of the island.
The true origin of Fire Island’s name is obscure.
Did You Know?
Many boating accidents and drownings are alcohol-related. National Park Service rangers and other officers conduct safe boating checks and enforce boating under the influence (BUI) laws on the Great South Bay. More...