It’s a longstanding Seaside tradition: listening to a crackling fire in concert with the crashing of the ocean waves. Bonfires on the shore can be a highlight of your trip — as long as you’re careful and follow a few rules.
1. Check to see if a fire ban is in effect. Although Oregon’s beaches aren’t the primary concern, wildfires are a serious issue during the warmer months, and many blazes in Oregon are human-caused. Check current conditions and do your part to help prevent wildfires from starting in the first place. (Get answers to common wildfire-related questions here from Travel Oregon.)
2. Bonfires should be small and contained. As a frame of reference, your bonfire should never be larger than the size of a lawn chair. Large bonfires are prohibited at all times. (Read the City of Seaside ordinance on recreational fires here.)
3. Small fires are only allowed in dry, open sand. You need to be downwind and safely clear of the grass and driftwood lines. No fires are allowed in the dunes. In the case of dry or windy conditions, signs may be posted temporarily prohibiting beach fires.
4. You only may use small pieces of wood. Do not burn logs or large driftwood piles.
5. Don’t leave your fire unattended for any reasons. Winds can kick up along the coast and send embers into the air.
6. To extinguish your fire, douse it with both water and sand.
7. Roast marshmallows! If you don’t have your own supplies, no problem. Head over to The Seashore Inn, just north of the Turnaround on Broadway. There you can buy beach fire kits that include wood, kindling, newspaper and matches plus marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate bars and four roasting sticks for $25. If you just need the fire starters, it’s $10. Or if you just want s’mores supplies, that’s $10, too.
Now go make some fireside memories.
Beach bonfire photo by Don Frank