Post Summary: Oregon beaches that allow bonfires (+ safety rules and fire station contacts)
I think we can all agree that visiting the beaches in Oregon is a great way to spend the day, but having an Oregon beach bonfire when the stars come out is the cherry on top!
All you need to know are a few seaside beach bonfire rules, where to go in Oregon, what to bring, and how to prepare–all of which are right here in this post.
Keep reading to learn all about the beaches that allow bonfires in Oregon and other tips for your next beach bonfire adventure!
What to Pack For a Beach Bonfire in Oregon
What should you be bringing?
Here is our beach bonfire checklist: (and while you’re at it, check out our Oregon Coast packing list as well – it shares clothing suggestions too!
S’mores Ingredients: Graham crackers, chocolate, marshmallows, s’more sticks, and wet wipes to get those sticky fingers clean after your yummy treat!
Water Bottle: Stay hydrated!
Packable charcuterie snacks: Crackers or bread, salami, cheese, grapes…(anything that’s handheld and not too messy!) See our suggestions here with Oregon coast picnic locations too!
Beach blanket (or two): Bundle up with your beau, your bae, or your buddies! We love the Rumpl blanket for warmth and Gathre mat for the sand.
Camp chairs: Not up for sitting in the sand? Put your toesies in instead and bring the camping chairs!
Small Shovel: You’ll need a small shovel to dig out where you want your Oregon beach bonfire.
Lighter: We also like to use lint from the dryer to use as kindling. It works wonders!
Trash bag: Follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace, especially by minimizing campfire impacts. Pick up your trash and leave the area better than you found it.
Bonus – beach wagon: Instead of hauling all your stuff across the beach by hand, take one trip with a beach wagon!
Beach Bonfire Safety
It’s extremely important to understand the rules of beach bonfires by building and putting out bonfires safely.
Here are some tips to help you have a beach bonfire in Oregon, while also keeping yourself, others, and the environment around you safe:
- Be sure to check the rules for your specific beach (contact information below, keep scrolling)
- Bonfires must be no bigger than 2 feet by 2 feet
- Watch the wind, always light a fire downwind of dune grass
- Don’t burn driftwood or logs found on the beach
- Don’t leave your fire unattended
- Put your fire out completely with water, don’t rely on just burying it with sand
How To Build a Beach Bonfire Properly and Safely
Need some tips for making a beach bonfire?
Follow these steps to ensure you build the best one you can!
Find The Right Location
Rule number one: you must choose a location on beaches that allow bonfires!
Not all beaches along the Oregon Coast allow beach bonfires, so avoid potentially hefty fines by knowing where they are allowed first.
More on specific Oregon beaches that allow bonfires below!
After you’ve established your beach, you should build your fire on dry sand, away from incoming tides.
It’s crucial to not go too far from the water, for the risk of your fire touching the beach grass.
Dig Your Pit
After finding the right location for your beach bonfire, the next step is to dig a small pit for the fire.
The pit should be around three feet wide and several inches deep (reaching the wet sand), to decrease the risk of the fire spreading and protect it from the wind.
To do this, you should bring a lightweight shovel to dig a small hole in the sand.
If there are rocks nearby, a helpful way to keep the fire contained and block wind is by gathering rocks and lining them around the hole.
Build Your Fire
To build your beach bonfire, you’ll need a few logs (start with three) and some kindling.
Kindling can be dry, with small twigs, branches, newspaper, or lint from your dryer.
Remember, do not use driftwood or logs from the beach, as it is prohibited in some areas.
Do not remove branches from living trees, which harms the tree and creates excess smoke when burned.
Place two logs side to side, with space in between for the kindling (around 6 inches apart).
Next, place the third log over the initial two, perpendicular to the two logs.
Finally, you can light the kindling with a lighter.
It will take a few minutes for the fire to get going, so be patient and blow on the kindling if it starts to dwindle!
Your fire should be no larger than a camping chair and should stay contained within the pit.
Preserve Your Fire
Once you get your beach bonfire going, it’s important to preserve the fire, so you can enjoy the warmth all night long!
When preserving your fire, you should always take stock of the direction of the wind.
If the ocean breeze picks up, you can arrange camping chairs to block the wind from extinguishing the fire.
You should also add firewood to your beach bonfire when the flames are still strong, so it catches easily.
Extinguish Your Fire
The most important rule in having a beach bonfire is to fully extinguish and douse your fire with water until it’s completely out.
Don’t just bury your beach bonfire–hot coals can last several hours, and they can hurt unsuspecting dogs or passersby.
You should also return any rocks you used to their original location once they’re cool and refill the pit with sand.
Be sure to leave no trace by picking up any trash you may have dropped.
Leave the space better than you found it!
Oregon Beaches That Allow Bonfires
So, which Oregon coast towns allow bonfires? How do you know you are following the rules?
We made this part easy for you to figure out!
Below, we’re sharing:
- the most popular places to have beach bonfires in Oregon
- the closest fire department contact information
- Ways to double-check during those times when fire risk is high (late summer).
Let’s get started!
Seaside, Oregon is a quaint Pacific Northwest coastal town that is just 15 minutes from the famous Cannon Beach.
Not only is this a great location to have a beach bonfire with family and friends, the beach at Seaside hosts tons of oceanside activities.
Kite flying, building sand castles, boogie boarding, strolling on the 1.5-mile oceanfront promenade, sea kayaking, picnicking, are just the start!
Read about the Seaside beach bonfire rules here.
Closest fire department contact: Seaside Fire & Rescue at 503-738-5420
2. Cannon Beach
Highlighting the famous Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach is a wonderful environment, perfect for making sandcastles with the family, tidepooling, or watching the sunset while having a beach bonfire with friends.
Make sure to follow the Cannon Beach bonfire rules during your visit and keep your fire at least 30 feet away from brush and vegetation.
Closest fire department contact: Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District at (503) 436-2949
3. Rockaway Beach
Found on the northern shores of Oregon lies Rockaway Beach–a lovely spot on the coast where the mountain cliffs meet the sea.
From Rockaway Beach, you’ll have an unobstructed view of a beautiful sea stack arch that makes your beach bonfire sunsets superb.
Make sure you’re following the local beach bonfire rules and check out the local fire department’s page for news about burn bans and restrictions.
Closest fire department contact: Rockaway Beach Volunteer Fire Department at 503-374-0618
4. Pacific City
Just two hours outside of Portland, Pacific City is the perfect weekend getaway and location for late-night beach bonfires in Oregon.
The beach at Pacific City is fun and games for all ages; here, you can take the kids up the beach sand dunes (Three Capes Scenic Loop), go on a tidepooling adventure to Short Beach and Tunnel Beach (accessible at low tide), or get a bite to eat at Pelican Brewery.
Closest fire department contact: Nestucca Rural Fire Protection District at (503) 392-3032
5. Lincoln City
Lincoln City’s beach is perfect for an exciting day, full of scavenging for glass floats or going tidepooling, seeing God’s Thumb with your own eyes, and is a great place to have a cozy evening beside a beach bonfire.
The beach at Lincoln City is accessible from numerous points across the town, making it a convenient stop for your next beach bonfire in Oregon.
Weather permitting, Mobi-Mats are installed at Lincoln City between Memorial Day and October, which makes this lovely beach ADA accessible!
Closest fire department contact: North Lincoln Fire Rescue at 541-996-2233
6. Bandon Beach
Bandon Beach is downright astonishing–and, better yet, you can enjoy the views from the comfort and warmth of a beach bonfire!
What makes Bandon Beach so spectacular are the tons of sea stacks that jut out from the ocean waves, creating caves and pockets that are perfect for tide-pooling.
It’s one of the most beautiful Southern Oregon Coast destinations in our book!
Bandon Beach is welcoming to all, but is reached from a long set of stairs that wind down nearby cliffs, therefore not being ADA accessible; however, there is a wonderful viewpoint from the top that never gets old!
Closest fire department contact: Bandon RFPD #8 – Main Fire Station at (541) 347-3560
Adventures Nearby: 9 stunning sea stacks to see at Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint
7. Coastal Campgrounds
Along the coast, there are numerous Oregon Coast campgrounds that have beach access, allow campfires on the beach, and have environments suitable for wonderful beach bonfires in Oregon.
Campgrounds that are nearby beaches that allow bonfires include: Astoria/Warrenton/Seaside KOA Resort (Seaside), South Beach State Park (Newport), Beverly Beach State Park (Beverly Beach), and Webb County Campground (Pacific City).
Make sure you’re following local rules for beach bonfires and staying away from any brush or vegetation!
Note: Most Oregon State Park Campgrounds do not allow open beach fires unless specifically stated, or in specifically designated fire pits. For the most accurate information, call ahead to the state park you want to visit to double-check regulations!