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Yesterday we've camped in a campsite near Lake Wenatchee. We've brought in a lot of wood but I've also seen numerous dead trees lying around in the surrounding forest. Is it okay to take branches from those dead trees to feed a campfire?

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  • I don't know the rules at Lake W, or where that is, but in Yosemite or Rocky Mtn Natl Park, it is OK to use fallen dead trees or portions thereof for a campfire, as long as you are in an area where campfires are permitted. I would not take dead branches from a standing tree.
    – ab2
    Jun 28 at 23:43
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    @ab2 I've so far found that its really hard to figure out official rules for those kinds of questions. Normally I'm a fan of "ask the ranger on site" but haven't seen a single park ranger during my stay unfortunately. Jun 28 at 23:46
  • We are not rangers, but we can give you answers based on a good deal of experience. To some extent, one has to use common sense. For example, if wood is scarce on the ground -- the area looks as though a barbarian horde has razed the forest floor -- don't add to the depredations. If there is a lot of wood just lying around, take a modest amount for a modest campfire. For myself, I admire the character in the Nevada Barr series who uses a candle as a campfire. She gets the ambiance of a fire and her imagination does the rest.
    – ab2
    Jun 29 at 0:17
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    I don't think this can be answered in general: I've seen places where you are not allowed to collect wood locally and have to bring it, places where you are neither allowed to collect locally nor to bring, but you have to buy it and also places where you have to collect locally... Jun 30 at 17:27
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Do not bring in firewood. From the Nason Creek Campground page:

Don't Move Firewood: Please protect Pacific Northwest forests by preventing the spread of invasive species. Firewood can carry insects and diseases that can threaten the health of our western forests. You can make a difference by obtaining and burning your firewood near your camping destination. Visit Dontmovefirewood.org for further information.

The linked site has a lot more information about how to supply firewood for a campfire.

But please, do not start any campfire during a burn ban.

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  • We've obtained firewood ~5 miles from the campsite, this should count as "near your camping destination". And the burn ban does not apply to fire pits at camp sites - there's an explicit sign at the entrance which says so. Jun 29 at 2:09
  • Found it!. Campfires are allowed on Federal land, but not on state-owned park land. Jun 29 at 2:18

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