News Release

Campfires and smoking near dry plants prohibited in Zion Canyon

Blackened, burned soil near steel campfire ring surrounded by plants with red rock rising in the distance.
Burned area near fire ring at Watchman Campground in Zion National Park on July 30, 2023.

NPS / Abi Farish

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News Release Date: July 31, 2023

Contact: Zion Newsdesk, 435-772-0162

SPRINGDALE, Utah – Effective at 12:01 a.m. MT on Wednesday, August 2, campfires and smoking near dry plants will be prohibited in Zion Canyon. These restrictions will stay in effect until lifted by the park superintendent. 

“National Park Service and interagency partners’ wildland firefighters suppressed a fire that burned part of Watchman Campground on Saturday, July 29,” Lyndsay Fonger, Zion National Park Fire Management Officer said. “It’s important that you not smoke near dry plants or build campfires in Zion Canyon to protect people, property, and the park itself.” 


Fire restrictions 

  • Setting, building, maintaining, attending, or using a campfire (including charcoal) in South and Watchman campgrounds, at picnic areas, or permanently improved places of habitation is prohibited. 

  • Stoves and grills fueled by petroleum fuels such as Liquid Propane Gas (LPG), butane, or white gas are allowed. 

  • Smoking in vegetated areas is not allowed. 

  • No smoking except in an enclosed vehicle, or a developed recreation site clear of vegetation, or other areas devoid of vegetation with a minimum of three (3) feet in diameter of clear soil. 

Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment for not more than twelve months, or both. 


Conditions at Zion 

Wet winter and spring weather contributed to the growth of many grasses and other plants throughout Zion National Park. Now that plants are drying out, an accidental fire start makes it more likely that these plants could burn quickly. Grasses and other dry fuels present a significant fire danger to park visitors and facilities, especially at the campgrounds in Zion Canyon. Learn more about the recent Watchman Fire


Use Fire Sense 

No matter when you visit Zion, and especially in hot, dry summer months, remember: 

  • Your car engine may be hot, especially after long drives. Park away from dry plants. 

  • Check chains on trailers to make sure they don't drag under your car. 

  • Using fireworks is prohibited all the time on public lands. 

Get public domain photos and b-roll online.

Last updated: August 1, 2023

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Springdale, UT 84767


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