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    Point Reyes

    National Seashore California

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Fire Danger - Know Before You Go

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Date: August 3, 2012
Contact: Jennifer Chapman, 415-464-5133

Below are some tips for visitors planning to go to Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area (NRA) during fire season between June and November, with peak months in September and October when the largest number of hot, dry, windy days usually occur.

Each day during fire season, fire danger is assessed for Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate NRA and is given one of five possible ratings: Low, Moderate, High, Very High, or Extreme. This rating is based on both weather and vegetation. When fire danger is elevated, some park activities are restricted to prevent accidental wildfires. To find out the fire danger level and whether any restrictions are in effect, visitors can call a recorded line for each park:

  • Point Reyes Fire, Weather, and Tides Information Line - 415-464-5100 x2, x1
  • Golden Gate Fire Danger Hotline - 415-561-7400

The information on these phone lines applies only to national park sites, not to state parks, or other public lands and open space.The Golden Gate Fire Danger Hotline provides information for sites north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County, as well as sites in San Francisco and San Mateo Counties.

Portable gas stoves are low risk and are allowed under all conditions at both Point Reyes and Golden Gate. All other kinds of fires may be restricted and are only allowed in a few places even when fire danger is low. A summary of fire danger restrictions that may affect park visitors are as follows:


  • No beach fires or campfires


  • No beach fires or campfires
  • No charcoal barbeques
  • Mount Vision Road closed to vehicle traffic (Point Reyes NS)


  • No beach fires or campfires
  • No charcoal barbeques
  • Mount Vision Road closed to vehicle traffic (Point Reyes NS)
  • No smoking on trails or in back country areas
  • No smoking anywhere in Muir Woods National Monument

Visitors are reminded that permits are always required to make a beach fire at Point Reyes National Seashore. Golden Gate NRA provides fire rings at Muir Beach and Ocean Beach which are available on a first come, first served basis, but a permit is required for groups of 25 or more. The only national park campground in the San Francisco Bay Area where campfires are allowed is at Kirby Cove in the Marin Headlands where permits are also required and designated fire rings are provided.

When the fire danger increases, there are many precautions that can be taken outside of parks as well. Lawn mowers and other power tools could be dangerous since mechanized equipment has also started many wildfires. Remove dead, dry and, overgrown vegetation to create defensible space around your home, and be careful not to pull off the road into tall grass which could be ignited by a hot automobile.

In addition to checking the fire danger rating and possible restrictions for Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area, another trip planning resource is the National Weather Service website, which provides detailed fire weather forecasts for different zones within the San Francisco Bay Area.


Did You Know?

Bubblegum coral. Image courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

On the Cordell Bank, just 32 kilometers (20 miles) to the west of Point Reyes, there are deep-water corals that are 10 to 15 meters (33 to 50 feet) high and estimated to be over 1500 years old. More...