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Campfires & Fire Hazard Rating System

Campfires are one of the leading causes of wildfires in Algonquin Park. On average, Algonquin has 14 escaped campfires each year. Campfires can have a serious impact on our park environment – some campsites are destroyed for future use, wildlife habitat is affected, and these wildfires are costly to extinguish. All visitors can help to prevent wildfires.

Campfire Safety

Whether camping in the backcountry or at a campground, only light your campfire when you are ready to use it for cooking or for warmth.

If you start a campfire, you are responsible to keep it under control and make certain it is extinguished completely BEFORE you leave the site.

  1. Use the designated campfire pit
  2. Ensure the campfire pit bottom is non-flammable (bare rock, sand or gravel) material; during dry periods of the summer, any campfires built on "organic" matter can burn deep into the ground, and if not completely extinguished, will resurface as a wildfire hours or days later
  3. Clean the area around your fireplace of needles, wood chips, and paper; clear a space of at least one metre from the outside edges of your campfire
  4. The space above the fire should be at least 3 metres from overhanging branches
  5. If winds are brisk, we recommend no campfire
  6. Build a small fire only; your campfire should not exceed 1 metre in height and 1 metre in diameter
  7. Your campfire must be attended at all times
  8. Have a pot/bucket of water available to extinguish sparks make sure you extinguish your fire completely before you go to bed or leave your campsite; pour in water slowly so that it can soak in; dig into the ashes, and add more water; continue until no steam rises and the coals are cold to the touch
  9. Make sure your campfire is dead out!
  10. Be careful with anything capable of starting a fire.

Key to the Forest Fire Hazard Ratings

Forest and weather conditions determine the forest fire hazard rating which is posted daily at Park offices or check the Ontario Forest Fire Danger Rating for Algonquin Park.

Level Implications for Algonquin Park Visitors
Low Low fire danger. No restrictions implemented.
Moderate Carry out any forest activities with caution.
High Fire hazard is serious. Extreme caution must be used in any forest activities. Burning permits and industrial activities may be restricted.
Extreme Extremely high fire hazard. General forest activities may be restricted, including burning permits, industrial activities, and campfires.
Restricted Fire Zone (and/or Fire Ban) By law, you cannot have an outdoor fire in a Restricted Fire Zone. Campers must use specific types of camping stoves for cooking and warmth. For complete details see Restricted Fire Zone.

In the event of high-risk conditions, a "Restricted Fire Zone" may be declared — fires are not permitted and campers must use camping stoves for cooking and warmth.

Should a Restricted Fire Zone be anticipated or declared, every attempt is made to advise campers before they head into the backcountry.


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Special regulations for Algonquin's special fishery.