Okanagan Shuswap District


Information on cutting Firewood for Personal Use in the Okanagan Shuswap District ...

The Okanagan Timber Supply Area is comprised of the Penticton, Salmon Arm and Vernon forest areas.

To make fuel wood availabile, for those who go out to gather firewood in preparation for winter, the Ministry of Forests and Range issues Free Use Permits to members of the public for personal use. There is no charge for this privilege, only a commitment to abide by a number of simple rules.

In the Okanagan Shuswap Timber Supply Area, cutting firewood is restricted to dead or down material on Crown land. By authority of the Forest Act, members of the public are permitted to cut firewood on vacant Crown land for personal use under a Free Use Permit.

Each applicant must read and understand the permit conditions prior to signing it. This permit is subject to the Forest and Range Practices Act and it's accompanying regulations. The Permittee must carry the Permit at all times and must produce the permit at the request of a Forest Officer/Official, Conservation Officer or a Peace Officer. The penalties for failing to produce a permit or for not adhering to the permit conditions include a $173.00 fine and/or seizure of the wood. Removing wood from a deck of logs at a logging landing site is illegal and may result in charges of theft under the Criminal Code of Canada.

There are also a couple of important points to remember. Soon after the first frosts, the needles on Western Larch turn yellow and begin to fall. This is characteristic of that species of tree and is not an indication that the tree is dead.

Everyone should also be aware that dry conditions can exist throughout the spring, summer and fall in the forest and care should be taken to prevent a wildfire from occurring.

A copy of the Free Use Permit for Cutting Firewood for personal use, is available in PDF format. If you currently do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download a free copy from the Adobe Acrobat Reader download page.

Fill in your name, address and phone number at the top of the permit and the date of issuance at the bottom of the permit. Print and sign the permit to validate it.

 Free Use Permit for Cutting Firewood

For more information please contact the Okanagan Shuswap District at (250) 558-1700 or toll free through Enquiry BC at 1-800-663-7867.

Safety Hints:

  • Many Forest Service Roads will have heavy industrial traffic (logging trucks, lowbeds, etc.) even on weekends.
  • Dead standing snags are extremely hazardous. On industrial sites, only experienced certified fallers are allowed to fall snags.