Beach Fire and Campfire Regulations

Beach Fire Regulations
Beach fires are only permitted at:

  • Muir Beach: The number of fire rings available changes seasonally. May - November: 6 fire rings are available. December - April: 3 fire rings are available. They are located on the beach near the south end of the parking lot. Fires are allowed beginning at 9:00 am and must be cleared and groups must vacate the beach by 1-hour after sunset.

  • Ocean Beach: Only in the fire rings provided, between Stairwells 15 and 20. See below for more details.

Fires on Ocean Beach

On October 31, 2014 NPS completed the Revised Pilot Program for beach fires, which was implemented to further understand the variety of issues resulting from fires occurring on the beach. The NPS staff effort needed for maintaining a clean and safe beach as a result of the visitors who are non-compliant with the fire program rules and regulations is immense, and unsustainable given the park's limited resources.

The most recent information about this program and the results can be found here:

Rules for Beach Fires:

  • Fires are only allowed WITHIN the provided concrete fire rings. Any fires created outside of these rings are illegal.
  • NO GLASS OR ALCOHOL is allowed on the beach.
  • Fires must be out by 9:00 PM.
  • The parking lots at Ocean Beach close at 10:00 PM each night and are owned and managed by the City of San Francisco.
  • Fires are not allowed on "Spare the Air" days. When air pollution reaches unhealthy levels, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District notifies the public by declaring a "Spare the Air day." To find out if today is a "Spare the Air" day, visit or call 1-800-HELP-AIR.
  • Fires must be extinguished with WATER ONLY. Bring a bucket to collect ocean water, or bring your own water. Covering the fire with sand only insulates the hot coals and fills the pits with sand.
  • Burn only untreated, unpainted wood.
  • Don't burn pallets or any wood containing nails or other hardware.
  • Bring your own firewood. Gathering, cutting or scavenging of firewood or kindling is not permitted at the beach or in the park. Locally grown firewood is best.
  • Burn Clean. Do not use accelerants such as lighter fluid, as they leave pollution and poisons in the sand and the air. Paper and kindling are preferred fire starter material.
  • Don't burn trash or debris. Most trash gives off pollution and poisonous gases.
  • Refuse must be removed from the beach. LEAVE NO TRACE.
  • Fires shall be attended at all times by a responsible adult (18 year of age or older).
  • Minors must be supervised by one person 21 or over for each 10 people under 18.
  • Groups of more than 25 people must obtain a permit by calling 415-561-4700. The administrative cost for the permit is $50.00.
  • Large-scale events may require more extensive review by National Park Service staff. If it is determined that your event will require extensive review, the administrative cost may be higher. Observe all posted regulations.

Volunteer Beach Cleanup Days

The 3rd Saturday of each month join our Ocean Beach Interpretive Ranger:

  • Meet at 10:00 AM at Stairwell 17
  • Clean up concludes around noon.
  • All supplies provided.
  • Please click here to register.
  • Have questions? Call 415-561-4751
Groups are always welcome to schedule their own cleanup day as well. Contact the phone number listed above for more details.

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Universal Access

Golden Gate National Recreation Area is committed to universal access for all visitors. The City of San Francisco provides designated Accessible Parking Spaces at Stairwells 15/16. For more information about accessibility and beach wheelchairs, click here.


Campfire regulations

  • Permitted only at the Kirby Cove Campground & Picnic Area in the fire grills provided by the park. Only wood or charcoal may be burned in these grills.
  • No gathering, cutting or scavenging of firewood or kindling is permitted in the park from any source. All firewood must be brought into the park
  • Chemically treated wood, painted wood, wood with nails or staples shall not be used in any fire.
  • Before departure, campfires must be completely extinguished with water, using the "drown, stir and feel" method.
  • During very hot, dry weather conditions, “Spare the Air” days, strong winds, and extreme fire danger days or by order of the Superintendent, fires of any type may not be allowed anywhere in the park.

Charcoal fire regulations

Charcoal fires are permitted in fixed grills provided by the park or visitor-provided portable barbecues in established picnic areas, in the Kirby Cove Campground, or at Muir and Ocean beaches unless signed or prohibited otherwise. Debris burning is not permitted. Grill/Stove fire coals must be extinguished and disposed of in receptacles provided by the park.

Park-provided charcoal grills may be found at the following picnic areas:

  • Baker Beach
  • Battery Wallace
  • China Beach
  • Kirby Cove
  • Rodeo Beach
  • Muir Beach

Only liquid fuel stoves are permitted in Haypress Campground, Hawk Campground and Bicentennial Campground. Campers staying at Bicentennial Campground may use charcoal in the barbecue grills in the nearby Battery Wallace picnic area.

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