Fire icon
"Use the Campfire option in the Radial Menu. You'll need all the fixings: a Firestarter, Tinder, and Fuel. Accelerant speeds up the process. Fuel types impact burn time and heat production. An active fire can be used to Cook and Boil Water, as well as keeping you from freezing to death."
— In-game description

A fire is a pile of burning fuel that has been lit using the fire starting survival skill. To make a fire, players need a starter, tinder, and fuel. Fires provide and restore warmth to the player. Uncooked foods can be cooked on fires, and water can be melted and purified.

Fire starting Edit

Main article: Fire Starting

To start a fire, players have to "use" an existing firebox or campfire, and select the "Start Fire" menu option. Once the fire starting interface is open, four options are presented: ignition source, tinder, fuel, and an optional accelerant. At the top of screen, the player's current fire starting skill and the chance of success with the currently selected materials are displayed.

Types of firesEdit

Campfires Edit

The Long Dark - Campfire
Main article: Campfire

A campfire is an open fire that can be placed into the world at the player's discretion. Players are limited in where fires can be placed, and campfires are subject to becoming windblown, depending on the weather. If the player has sufficient resources to start another fire, burnt out campfires can be relit.

Contained fires Edit

Fire barrel

Contained fires offer the benefits of relatively safe fire starting positions in unlikely places, such as indoors. Contained fires cannot become windblown, and are unaffected by the weather.

Firebox Cooking slots Location(s)
Campfire 2 Placed by the player.
Fire barrel 2 Carter Hydro Dam, Quonset Gas Station, Signal Hill, Hibernia Processing, Maintenance Yard
Pot belly stove 1 Fishing huts, Camp Office
Wood stove 2 Camp Office, Trapper's Homestead, inside some ruined houses
Fire place 2 Mountaineer's Hut, Hunting Lodge, inside some larger houses.
Stove 6 Pleasant Valley Farmstead, Hunting Lodge, Milton House
Furnace 1

The Riken, Old Spence Family Homestead

Tending fires Edit

Fire durationEdit

12 hour cap

  • Fire duration is calculated from the moment the fire was first lit, so a fire started without accelerant will have already used 5 minutes of life before it can be interacted with. Example: A fire lit from a book (+18 min) will only have 13 minutes life remaining when starting is complete.
  • Wind can seriously dampen campfire duration, capping it at only 9 minutes. See campfires (above).


When a fire's duration reaches zero, it does not immediately go out. Rather, it lingers on in a state called embers. How long the embers last will not be visible. Typically embers will burn out within 5 minutes but is possible for them to last up to 10.

  • Embers are still fire and remain as hot as the original fire. They can be even be used to complete cooking or processing water.

Fire temperatureEdit

  • In Pilgrim and Voyageur difficulties, being next to any fire prevents the character from losing condition due to freezing. Stalkers must get fire hot enough to get Feels like greater than 0°C to stop freezing.
  • The furnace has a unique temperature cap of 200°C that only pertains to coal.

Adding coalEdit

Coal icon

Coal cannot be used to start a fire directly, it can only be burnt in an already active fire. Additionally, coal cannot be added immediately to a fire, the fire must be at least 30 minutes old to accept coal. Time is calculated from the moment the fire starting began and time remaining until coal can be added is displayed in red text on the bottom of the page when attempting to add coal prematurely.

Coal is an important component for forging as it is the only material capable of raising fire temperature above 80°C. When coal is added to the furnace, it is not restricted by the 12 hour fire life cap and can be added repeatedly. Even though the 12 hour cap stands and any life in excess of 12 hours would be lost, temperature will rise for each coal added up to the furnace temperature cap of 200°C.

Taking torchesEdit

Torch icon

A Torch can be taken out of any fire, regardless of what material was used to create it, by activating the button on the bottom right, which reduces the fire by 10 minutes duration and 1°C and exits the fire page with the torch in-hand. The "Take Torch" button only appears when a fire has at least 10 minutes of duration remaining. Torches taken from fire will have 25-50% condition and can be extinguished right away for later use.

Outdoor fire bonus Edit

Fires that are started in outdoor locations offer an outdoor fire bonus. This means that the Duration listed on the fire is inaccurate, and the fire will actually last about 50% longer depending on the temperature. Colder temperatures will yield a longer lasting fire, up until the bonus caps at around -30C. The bonus is determined based on the survivors positioning, meaning that if you go inside your outdoor fire will no longer receive the outdoor fire bonus. In regards to fire bonus, outdoor caves have a line separating the warm and cold sections. Standing at the back of the cave, a fire will behave as an indoor fire due to the warm temperature. Standing at the front of the cave, fires will behave as an outdoor fire due to the cold temperature. Utilizing this bonus, you can use significantly less wood to keep an overnight fire burning in a cave by starting it in the cold section.

Processing water Edit

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The water processing menu

Water is obtained from campfires and contained fires through the process of melting snow. This can be done by first placing a recycled can or cooking pot on the heat source.

  • There is no need to collect snow prior to boiling.

Melt at fire for 10 minutes:

Boil 0.5L Water (unsafe) at fire for 5 minutes:


Wolves will be scared off by a campfire. They may approach a player near a fire but will flee once they get too close. Contained fires, such as stoves in ruined houses, will not frighten approaching predators, however.