Recreational Fire Regulations

News Release Date: October 11, 2016

Nov. 1 Begins NO-BURN Season at Ocean Beach

SAN FRANCISCO - November 1 marks the beginning of the first NO-BURN season at Ocean Beach in Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). Recreational beach fires will be prohibited at Ocean Beach through the end of February.

GGNRA’s No-Burn season coincides with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District's winter Spare the Air season when particulate matter pollution from wood burning and other sources can reach unhealthy levels in the Bay Area.

In addition to air quality, the four-month rest will allow GGNRA to remove the Ocean Beach fire pits for a thorough cleaning of both the pits and the beach.

Recreational fires are permitted only at the sites below and according to the regulations on this page. In addition to the universal fire regulations, see additional site-specific rules and regulations below:

Beach Fires (Ocean Beach & Muir Beach)

Campfires (Kirby Cove)

Charcoal Fires (Fixed Grills & Portable BBQs)

Spare the Air Days

Universal Fire Regulations at GGNRA
  • No recreational fires are permitted during Spare the Air days
  • Fires may be suspended by order of the park superintendent due to hot, dry weather conditions, strong winds, or extreme fire danger. Look for park alerts.
  • 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.
  • Burn Clean. Do not use accelerants such as lighter fluid, as they leave pollution and poisons in the air. Paper and kindling are preferred fire starter material.
  • LEAVE NO TRACE. Trash must be removed from beaches, campsites, and picnic areas.
  • Do not burn treated or painted wood.
  • Do not burn pallets or any wood containing nails or other hardware.
  • Do not burn trash or debris. Most trash gives off pollution and poisonous gases.
  • Fires shall be attended at all times by a responsible adult (18 year of age or older).
  • Minors must be supervised. A responsible leader, 18 years or older, must be present for every 10 children under the age of 18.
Beach Fire Regulations

  • Fires allowed only in provided fire rings
  • Fires allowed beginning at 9AM
  • Fires must be out and groups must vacate the beach by 1-hour after sunset.
  • Fire rings are available on a first-come first-serve basis near the south end of the parking lot
  • Six fire rings are available May through November. Three fire rings are available December through April.
  • Groups of more than 25 people must obtain a permit by calling (415) 561-4700. For more information, go to:
  • Universal fire regulations apply
Ocean Beach
  • Fires permitted March 1 - October 31 (no fires permitted November 1 - end of February)
  • Fires allowed only in provided fire rings between Stairwells 15 and 20
  • No fires permitted from 9:30PM - 6AM
  • No glass or alcohol is allowed on the beach
  • Fires must be extinguished with WATER ONLY. Bring a bucket to collect ocean water, or bring your own water. Covering the fire with sand does not extinguish the fire. Instead it insulates the hot coals and fills the pits with sand.
  • The parking lots at Ocean Beach close at 10PM each night and are owned and managed by the City of San Francisco
  • Groups of more than 25 people must obtain a permit by calling (415) 561-4700. For more information, go to:
  • Universal fire regulations apply
  • For information about the development of the Ocean Beach fire management plan visit:
Campfire Regulations
  • Campfires 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.
  • Campfires must be completely extinguished with water, using the "drown, stir and feel" method.
  • Universal fire regulations apply
Charcoal Fire Regulations
  • Charcoal fires are permitted in fixed grills provided by the park at the following picnic areas:
    • Baker Beach
    • Battery Wallace
    • China Beach
    • Kirby Cove
    • Rodeo Beach
    • Muir Beach
  • Visitors may use portable barbecues in established picnic areas, in the Kirby Cove Campground, or at Muir and Ocean beaches unless signed or prohibited otherwise.
  • Fire coals must be extinguished and disposed of in receptacles provided by the park.
  • 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.
  • Universal fire regulations apply

Spare the Air Day

When the Bay Area Air Quality Management District declares a Spare the Air day, no campfires, beach fires, or outdoor grills are allowed at Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Your compliance reduces pollution and improves air quality.

To find out if a Spare the Air Day is in effect, look for park alerts, visit the Spare the Air website at or call 1-800-HELP-AIR.

Top of Page

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Building 201, Fort Mason

San Francisco, CA 94123-0022


(415) 561-4700
Pacific West Region Information Center (415) 561-4700 Special Event & Commercial Film Permits (415) 561-4300

Contact Us