Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Hikin Jim's "Dry Out West" Stove Article at GG
Display Avatars Sort By:
Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re: re: greg on 05/14/2014 14:33:05 MDT Print View

"I don't see how you get that clearing a spot leads to fire."

I said STILL leads to fire. As in: Is there evidence that you still get a fire even if you clear the spot for 5 feet in any direction?

""I am seriously interested in the evidence that EVEN with clearing a spot, it CAN still lead to fires."

Does that meet with your approval?

Edited by mpl_35 on 05/14/2014 14:35:23 MDT.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re: Re: re: greg on 05/14/2014 14:57:15 MDT Print View


right. I think we need better education of stove use, but when it gets hot and dry, better safe than sorry. Like many things in life, the lowest common denominator ruins it for everybody.

Peter J
(northoakland) - M

Locale: Temescal Creek
a bit more background information on 05/14/2014 15:22:04 MDT Print View

Since ya'll are getting into the weeds here-

Take a look at this PDF from CAl FIRE

It contains excerpts from the CA Public Resources Code that define what a campfire is, and some of the consequences one might face if one starts a wildfire. There is some inconsistency between the recommendations from CAL Fire (clear 10' in each direction) and that from the Stanislaus National Forest (clear 3' in each direction).

For more perspective on CAL Fire's take on all of this:

One advantage of the recommended 20' in diameter circles is that it will be easy for land mangers to do campsite inventories from their desktops using aerial imagery.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Is there any consensus on 05/14/2014 17:30:00 MDT Print View

on whether Starlyte stoves are: 1) Safe; 2) Permitted?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Is there any consensus on 05/14/2014 17:41:52 MDT Print View

Tom, the authorities are not smart enough to make any distinction between a Starlyte stove versus a more conventional alcohol stove. So, if they say that your stove must have an on-off switch, I guess they mean that.

I'm still trying to get opinions from some of the other jurisdictions.

Next time that I head up to the mountains to get my wilderness permit, I will have an Esbit stove packed. However, in my car I will have a butane stove so that I can make a last-minute swap in case they require it.


Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Is there any consensus on 05/14/2014 18:16:20 MDT Print View

"However, in my car I will have a butane stove so that I can make a last-minute swap in case they require it."

I'm leaning in that direction, too. Reluctantly.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Is there any consensus on 05/14/2014 18:17:27 MDT Print View

"Is there any consensus...."

You do know you're posting on BPL, right?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Is there any consensus on 05/14/2014 18:20:46 MDT Print View

"You do know you're posting on BPL, right?"

Uh...right. Another senior moment. Thanks for having my back.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Is there any consensus on 05/14/2014 18:56:07 MDT Print View

One problem with any bureaucracy in my experience is that the left hand rarely talks to the right. Complicating the issue, I've found that NPS, BLM, USDA, EIEIO staff really want to be helpful and sometimes would rather give a wrong answer than say "I don't know." As Bob mentioned, I doubt their policy is sophisticated enough to distinguish a Starlyte stove from a cat can. If by some miracle it is, I'd personally carry the regulation/policy with me (or at least an image of it on my phone) to show any backcountry rangers who might be unaware of it.

Not trying to throw any of these agencies under the bus as I've never had a bad experience with any of them but I'm at a point that I've given up on them as a over the phone source for trail or snow conditions (for trekking not avalanche).

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Re: stoves on 05/14/2014 21:46:38 MDT Print View

"I asked the question earlier in this thread about what really might be the safest stove - not the ones necessarily that are allowed in fire bans, but for real, which are the safest stoves.

If I have to bring my canister on the JMT - so what? If it reduces the chance that I might accidentally start a fire while I'm dead tired, well great."

Like I said earlier, I follow the regs whether I agree with them or not. But there's no way, IMHO, that an esbit or Starlyte type stove (especially either with a cone) is less safe than white gas stoves which are permitted.

This conversation actually seems to be about which is the idiot proof stove. And the answer is none of them. Anyone can start a fire with any of them if they are careless or stupid enough. So the answer is ban all stoves during high fire danger. And I'm fine with that. But the ones who don't bother to find out about fire bans, and a lot more likely, car campers that know and ignore the ban to have camp fires, will still be a threat.

Because you don't have to be IN the backcountry to set the backcountry on fire. Segment 2 of the CT burned but it wasn't a stove that did it. I'm sure there are many more examples.

Zorg Zumo
(BurnNotice) - F
Re: Re: This went dumb fast on 05/14/2014 23:02:22 MDT Print View

These are examples of what I was referring to..

Nick Gatel wrote - "One of my pet peeves. So many Internet experts who are safe. I see so many articles and blog posts of so called experts demonstrating/reviewing stoves with pictures of stoves sitting on duft, grass, twigs, and all sorts of flammable materials. Even here in articles posted on BPL."

Paul Magnanti wrote - " "I doubt even an alcohol stove knocked over could start much of a fire."

Tell that to the people in Ft. Collins, CO


There are other examples from the PCT, but I am too lazy to google them."

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Is there any consensus on 05/15/2014 17:47:41 MDT Print View

"One problem with any bureaucracy in my experience is that the left hand rarely talks to the right."

This has its roots in the Middle East, where bureaucracy was invented and the left hand considered unclean.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Another one of my rants from last year... on 05/15/2014 18:05:45 MDT Print View

How to start a forest fire

zorobabel frankenstein
(zorobabel) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Re: Hikin Jim's "Dry Out West" Stove Article at GG" on 05/16/2014 10:27:04 MDT Print View

No mention of butane or white gas, canister or liquid. I'll conclude that my Whisperlite is allowed.

"Yes indeed, it's dry out west. The Sequoia National Forest officials just issued Campfire Restrictions that go into effect on May 21st. They only allow gas stoves that have a flame on/off switch. Here's the text

"The Sequoia National Forest, Tule River Reservation, and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) within the Central California District (CND) recently announced an Interagency Declaration to impose fire restrictions for all Federal and State protected lands within Fresno, Tulare, and Kern Counties effective Wednesday May 21, 2014.

In the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument campfires and barbecues are only allowed in developed campgrounds or areas designated as exempt from fire restrictions. A list of designated exempt areas can be obtained here

Visitors are allowed to have a portable gas stove or lantern (with a flame on/off switch) outside developed or designated areas with a valid California campfire permit. A campfire permit can be obtained, free of charge, at any Forest Service, CALFIRE, or Bureau of Land Management office."

link -"

Edited by zorobabel on 05/16/2014 10:28:04 MDT.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Permits are subject to restriction by local authorities on 07/10/2015 08:01:39 MDT Print View


Campfire Permits

Campfire Permits are designed for use on federally controlled lands including those falling under the US Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management, and private lands that are the property of another person. On private lands you must also have written permission from the landowner for campfire use.

Permits are required for open fires, such as campfires, barbecues and portable stoves.

Permits are subject to restriction by local authorities. The need for restrictions is reviewed almost daily during the summer months and permits may even be suspended without advance notice. Permittees must check with local authorities each time they go out to an area.

Permits can be issued by the US Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Park Service (NPS), and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) or online at

1.Clear all flammable material away from the fire's edge 5 feet in all directions to prevent escape of the fire.
2.Have a shovel available at the campfire site for preparing and extinguishing campfires.
3.Have a responsible person in attendance at all times.
4.Extinguish campfires with water, using the drown, stir, and feel method.

You can contact the CAL FIRE at 916-653-5123, USFS at 707-562-8737, BLM at 916-978-4400, or refer to the individual National Park at, for more information.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: Permits are subject to restriction by local authorities on 07/10/2015 11:37:59 MDT Print View

Good in formation about CAL FIRE and what they do. They are the head office that make the laws of the state.


The men and women of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) are dedicated to the fire protection and stewardship of over 31 million acres of California's privately-owned wildlands. In addition, the Department provides varied emergency services in 36 of the State's 58 counties via contracts with local governments.

The Department's firefighters, fire engines, and aircraft respond to an average of more than 5,600 wildland fires each year. Those fires burn more than 172,000 acres annually.

While Californians are learning more and more about the good as well as the bad of fire, the prevention of large, damaging fires remains a priority for CAL FIRE. From Smokey Bear, to the thousands of CAL FIRE Volunteers in Prevention (VIPs), to new alliances with communities, private industry, and government agencies, aggressive action in fire prevention and fire safety is occurring throughout the State.

Beyond its wildland fire fighting role, CAL FIRE answers the call more than 350,000 times for other emergencies each year. It may very well be a CAL FIRE engine and crew that is dispatched to the scene of an auto accident, or to a home where a child has become the victim of a drowning incident. The Department is always ready to respond - medical aids; hazardous material spills; swiftwater rescues; search and rescue missions; civil disturbances; train wrecks; floods, earthquakes and more.

CAL FIRE Mission Statement Poster

Because of the Department's size and major incident management experience, it is often asked to assist or take the lead in disasters, including the Northern and Central California floods of 1997, 1998, and 2006; the 1991 Cantara train derailment and toxic spill; 1994 Northridge earthquake; 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake; the 1991 Tunnel Fire in the Oakland/Berkeley Hills; and the 2003 Southern California Fire Siege.

As part of the CAL FIRE team since 1995, the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) supports the CAL FIRE mission to protect life and property through fire prevention engineering programs, law and code enforcement and education. The OSFM provides for fire prevention by enforcing fire-related laws in state-owned or operated buildings, investigating arson fires in California, licensing those who inspect and service fire protection systems, approving fireworks as safe and sane for use in California, regulating the use of chemical flame retardants, evaluating building materials against fire safety standards, regulating hazardous liquid pipelines, and tracking incident statistics for local and state government emergency response agencies.

The OSFM, State Fire Training, and CAL FIRE Academy programs provide training education and certification programs for the California Fire Service. Through practical training exercises and classroom courses, every California firefighter is exposed to training standards that have been approved by CAL FIRE and OSFM, each among the best institutions in the nation for fire training education. Offering more than 1,000 classes annually, State Fire Training programs reach over 24,000 students each year and have issued over 100,000 certifications to members of the more than 900 fire California fire departments. Each year over 2,000 personnel attend the CAL FIRE Academy in Ione, California participating in courses ranging from basic fire control and arson investigation, to leadership development and forest practice enforcement.

CAL FIRE's mission emphasizes the management and protection of California's natural resources; a goal that is accomplished through ongoing assessment and study of the State's natural resources and an extensive CAL FIRE Resource Management Program. CAL FIRE oversees enforcement of California's forest practice regulations, which guide timber harvesting on private lands. Department foresters review an average 500 to 1,400 Timber Harvesting Plans (THPs) and conduct over 6,500 site inspections each year. THPs are submitted by private landowners and logging companies who want to harvest their trees. The reviews and inspections ensure protection of watershed and wildlife, as well as renewal of timber resources. Department foresters and fire personnel work closely to encourage and implement fuels management projects to reduce the threat of uncontrolled wildfires. Vegetation management projects such as "controlled burns" take teamwork between foresters, firefighters, landowners, and the local communities. CAL FIRE Foresters promote conservation and the importance of our trees and forests to Californians of all ages.

Firefighters battling a wildfire at nightCAL FIRE manages eight Demonstration State Forests that provide for commercial timber production, public recreation, and research and demonstration of good forest management practices. CAL FIRE foresters can be found in urban areas working to increase the number of trees planted in our cities, or preventing the spread of disease by identifying and removing infected trees. A Native American burial ground in the path of a logging operation or fire may be verified and saved due to a CAL FIRE archaeologist's review of the area. And, an improved strain of trees, resistant to disease and pests, may be nurtured and introduced by a CAL FIRE forester.

What is CAL FIRE? It is many things for the citizens of the State, and we encourage you to check this web site regularly for new and updated information.

Edited by zelph on 07/10/2015 08:22:50 MDT.

Don Amundson
(amrowinc) - M

Locale: Southern California
CAL FIRE on 07/10/2015 12:32:26 MDT Print View

"They are the head office that make the laws of the state."

Not exactly. They may advise but don't make any laws and their role focuses on privately-owned wildland in the state.

"fire protection and stewardship of over 31 million acres of California's privately-owned wildlands"

Sometimes I wish there was a single agency that made the laws that address camp stoves. It's a yearly pain in CA to hike across jurisdictional boundaries and have to conform to the most restrictive rules that at times seem to be written with little regard or understanding of current equipement.

Edited by amrowinc on 07/10/2015 13:27:59 MDT.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Canister stove tripod on 07/10/2015 13:02:14 MDT Print View

An improvement to safety with a butane canister stove is to get the orange plastic tripod legs from JetBoil for $5.95 and use it on whatever canister stove you use (assuming a 200- to 400-gram canister, not the 100-gram mini ones).

- it reduces the chance your stove tips over and the flame hits any ground cover (yes, you should have it on mineral soil or a large flat rock, but. . . . )
- if you take the risk of cooking in your tent, it reduces the risk of the stove tipping and contacting the tent's sides/bottom.
- it reduces the chance that your pasta ends up on the ground.
- it weighs very little and folds down small.

By myself, with a small pot, I don't bring it.

With the family, kids along, bigger pots, more cooks, more people to distribute weight to, and I'm glad to have it.

Tom D.
(DaFireMedic) - M

Locale: Southern California
USFS on 07/10/2015 21:38:43 MDT Print View

"Good in formation about CAL FIRE and what they do. They are the head office that make the laws of the state"


Cal Fire actually has very little to do with the fire laws and regulations. In National Forests, such as the San Gabriel (now made a national monument, don't get me started on that) and San Bernardino mountains, it is the US Forest service (part of the Department of Agriculture) that establishes the fire policies and regulations.

Don A. is right, there are too many land management entities and its hard to stay up on the regulations. Hopefully, they can come to some degree of uniformity as to the regulations.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: USFS on 07/11/2015 07:10:28 MDT Print View

These are the basic fire related regulations of the federal government:
Stove fire means a campfire built inside an enclosed stove or grill, a portable brazier, or a pressurized liquid or gas stove, including a space-heating device

§261.5 Fire.

The following are prohibited:

(a) Carelessly or negligently throwing or placing any ignited substance or other substance that may cause a fire.

(b) Firing any tracer bullet or incendiary ammunition.

(c) Causing timber, trees, slash, brush or grass to burn except as authorized by permit.

(d) Leaving a fire without completely extinguishing it.

(e) Causing and failing to maintain control of a fire that is not a prescribed fire that damages the National Forest System.

(f) Building, attending, maintaining, or using a campfire without removing all flammable material from around the campfire adequate to prevent its escape.

(g) Negligently failing to maintain control of a prescribed fire on Non-National Forest System lands that damages the National Forest System.

[42 FR 2957, Jan. 14, 1977, as amended at 46 FR 33520, June 30, 1981; 73 FR 30307, May 27, 2008]

§261.51 Posting.

Posting is accomplished by:

(a) Placing a copy of the order imposing each prohibition in the offices of the Forest Supervisor and District Ranger, or equivalent officer who have jurisdiction over the lands affected by the order, and

(b) Displaying each prohibition imposed by an order in such locations and manner as to reasonably bring the prohibition to the attention of the public.

return arrow Back to Top

§261.52 Fire.

When provided by an order, the following are prohibited:

(a) Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire.

(b) Using an explosive.

(c) Smoking.

(d) Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.

(e) Going into or being upon an area.

(f) Possessing, discharging or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device.

(g) Entering an area without any firefighting tool prescribed by the order.

(h) Operating an internal combustion engine.

(i) Welding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame.

(j) Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device that is properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order in accordance with U.S. Forest Service Standard 5100-1.

(k) Violating any state law specified in the order concerning burning, fires or which is for the purpose of preventing, or restricting the spread of fires.

[42 FR 2957, Jan. 14, 1977; 42 FR 24739, May 16, 1977; as amended at 42 FR 35959, July 13, 1977; 46 FR 33521, June 30, 1981; 77 FR 58493, Sept. 21, 2012]

-------------------- ---------------------- --------------------

CalFire is responsible for state fire laws. Federal agencies incorporate state laws where necessary as noted in (k)

(k) Violating any state law specified in the order concerning burning, fires or which is for the purpose of preventing, or restricting the spread of fires.

additional info:

§261.70 Issuance of regulations.

(a) Pursuant to 7 CFR 2.60, the Chief, and each Regional Forester, to whom the Chief has delegated authority, may issue regulations prohibiting acts or omissions within all or any part of the area over which he has jurisdiction, for one or more of the following purposes:

(1) Fire prevention or control.

(2) Disease prevention or control.

(3) Protection of property, roads, or trails.

(4) Protection of threatened, endangered, rare, unique, or vanishing species of plants, animals, birds or fish, or special biological communities.

(5) Protection of objects or places of historical, archaeological, geological or paleontological interest.

(6) Protection of scientific experiments or investigations.

(7) Public safety.

(8) Protection of health.

(9) Establishing reasonable rules of public conduct.

(b) Regulations issued under this subpart shall not be contrary to or duplicate any prohibition which is established under existing regulations.

(c) In issuing any regulations under paragraph (a) of this section, the issuing officer shall follow 5 U.S.C. 553.

(d) In a situation when the issuing officer determines that a notice of proposed rule making and public participation thereon is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, he shall issue, with the concurrence of the Chief, an interim regulation containing an expiration date.

7/12/15 Edited to add this additional info:

§261.52 Fire.

When provided by an order, the following are prohibited:

(a) Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire.

§261.2 Definitions.

Stove fire means a campfire built inside an enclosed stove or grill, a portable brazier, or a pressurized liquid or gas stove, including a space-heating device.

Edited by zelph on 07/12/2015 08:51:21 MDT.