What the Campfire Ban Means

AFTER BURN: A campfire in Tahoe Donner escaped its fire pit in 2018 but was stopped by local fire agencies. The Regional Burn Ban aims to avoid the potentially dangerous impacts of such events. Photo courtesy Truckee Fire Protection District

The threat of wildfire looms large, and in response, regional fire agencies put in place “campfire bans” in recent years. With the overlapping jurisdictions and their respective varying rules, a reader asked for clarification. 

~ By Mayumi Elegado, Moonshine Ink

So … the campfire ban? What exactly does this mean? It seems there are different rules depending on where you are. For example, I’m seeing “no gas” being added to some lists and not others. We residents and visitors need clarification on the guidelines! 


Throughout the Truckee area and Tahoe Basin we have several fire districts — such as Truckee Fire Protection District, Northstar Fire Department, Olympic Valley Fire Department, and North Tahoe Fire District — that are in partnership with the “Regional Burn Ban.” Our messaging is consistent and we work very hard to make sure that the information is clear and understandable. Additionally the state parks and United States Forest Service have their own guidelines for their lands and campgrounds. 

The Regional Burn Ban

What is banned? 

Any outside or residential campfires/bonfires that burn anything other than gas. Also, BBQs that burn solid fuel like charcoal briquettes, wood, or lump charcoal, including the Big Green Egg are banned. 

What is allowed? 

Outdoor gas devices including gas fire pits, gas BBQs, and pellet burning devices. All indoor fireplaces, including wood and pellet-burning stoves and fireplaces are permitted.

Red Flag Days =
No Open Flames

In addition to the Regional Burn Ban, on a specific RED FLAG WARNING Day, extra restrictions will include “No Open Flames.” This is allowed in the locally adopted California Fire Code. Red Flag Warning Days are typically messaged out through NIXLE and pushed to social media. I am wondering if this is what may have been seen by the reader who submitted the question. Other than this restriction, I am unsure of where they saw the “no gas” signage. 

For campfire ban information, readers can visit truckeefire.org/fire-ban-faq, which is directly applicable to the Truckee Fire Protection District response area.

However, the reader is correct in the fact that depending on where you are, the ordinances and guidelines/restrictions can be different. The Truckee/Tahoe area is unique with the many different agencies that have jurisdiction over the actual land and its restrictions. As mentioned above, if you are on federal or state land, the restrictions may differ. Additionally, homeowner associations may have extra fire restrictions in place.

It is very important to be aware of the area in which you live and recreate. With our high fire danger, any fire, flame, or spark can be dangerous. Each individual needs to be hyperaware of their location to make sure they abide by the rules of where they are.

~ Laura Brown, Truckee Fire Protection District Battalion Chief 


  • Mayumi Peacock

    Hailing from a U.S. military family and a graduate of the University of Florida, Mayumi Peacock has lived in several corners of the country and globe, yet Tahoe/Truckee has been her home since 1999. She is founder and publisher of Moonshine Ink, the region’s award-winning independent newspaper, which continues to be created by, for, and of the community. Other passions include family, animals, books, healthy living, and humane food.

Previous articleNew Kind of Library
Next articleLeave It Better Than You Found It …