Fire is an object created by the player. It can also be an enhancement added to certain existing objects.

Overview Edit

Fire is a major component in the The Long Dark. Its immediate function is to provide heat to restore and conserve warmth. It is also the main source of water in the game and so very important for preventing or relieving thirst. Further uses are the cooking and heating of food and drink and the creation of herbal medicines. Fire is also a main component to use of the furnace.

Campfires Edit

Campfires are a specific type of fire object placed into the world at the player's discretion.

Campfires are placeable objects provided certain conditions are met:

  • Cannot be started inside certain interior locations (most buildings and some mines)
  • Must be on level(ish) ground.
  • Must not be on top of a wooden surface.
  • Must not be in a location where the current wind would blow out the fire. Later wind may shift and then blow the fire out, but starting it now is allowed.
  • Must be reachable by the character (in close proximity).


From the radial menu:

At the left is the 'Campcraft' option. At the left again is 'Start Fire'. Activating this will return the view to the heads-up with option to place a campfire. Proper locations will present a green outline of a campfire. Selecting will place the fire and open the firestarter interface.


Both PC and XBOX controls have a hotkey specific to starting a campfire. This behaves exactly like the radial menu selection. Default for PC is the number four, <4>.

Windblown campfireEdit

Campfires can be used like all other fires, but unlike contained fires, are vulnerable to high winds. The wind shield icon can be useful for locating an area that is not currently being blown by wind.

When a campfire is being blown by wind, it will immediately have its life capped at 9 minutes. Any life in excess of 9 minutes will be permanently lost. Another indicator that a fire is about to blow out is its smoke will be blowing away sideways instead of rising up.

  • More fuel may be added to the fire to keep it going, but the maximum possible life at any one time is only 9 minutes.
  • Periodically feeding sticks to a windblown fire may be useful if one finds oneself still in dire need of warmth when their fire starts to go out.
  • Windblown fires can still be useful for short tasks, like brewing beverages or heating cans or boiling the smallest amounts of water.

Burnt out campfireEdit

Campfires will persist as burnt out campfires when they burn out. Burnt out campfires can be relit.

  • Occasionally, pre-existing burnt out campfires are incorporated into the environment to suggest the activity of other survivors.

Contained fires Edit

Fire barrel

There exist many objects in the game inside which fires can be started. Contained fires offer the benefits of being guaranteed safe fire starting positions in unlikely places, like indoors.

Targeting these objects at their door or opening will highlight their name. Selecting will open the firestarter interface.

Firebox Benefit Additional Use(s) Location(s)
Fire Barrel windproof none Carter Hydro Dam, Quonset Gas Station, Signal Hill, Hibernia Processing, Maintenance yard
Pot Belly Stove windproof none Fishing huts, Camp Office
Wood Stove windproof none Camp Office, Trapper's Homestead, inside some ruined houses
Fire Place Probably windproof None Mountaineer's Hut, Hunting Lodge, inside some larger houses.
Stove Probably windproof None Pleasant Valley Farmstead, Hunting Lodge
Furnace Probably windproof Heats the Forge. The Riken, Old Spence Family Homestead

Fire starting Edit

Once the firestarter interface is open, four options are presented. From the top they are ignition source, tinder, fuel, and accelerant. Only the first three are required to attempt a start. At the top of screen are displayed the character's current firestarting ability and the chance of success given the currently selected materials. Changing the materials can improve the chance of a successful start.

Starter Edit

Using the arrows you may select any ignition source currently carried in inventory. They are sequenced alphabetically and further sorted by condition, highest to lowest. Condition does not affect chance of success.

Ignition Source Benefit Additional Info
Cardboard match may start fire Consumed in attempt
Firestriker +15% chance 2% condition loss each attempt
Flare(lit) +5% chance Attempt may succeed even if item burns out
Magnifying lens +5% chance Only effective outdoors with sunny weather
Torch(lit) +5% chance Attempt may succeed even if item burns out
Wood match +5% chance Consumed in attempt
  • Magnifying lens does not require direct exposure to sun. For instance, can be used to start fires in the stove inside fishing huts or underneath thick tree cover as long as the day is at least partly sunny.

Tinder Edit

Using the arrows you may select any tinder currently carried in inventory. Currently, all tinders are equal. They are sequenced alphabetically. Player can start fires without a tinder after getting level 3 fire starting skill.

Tinder Benefit Weight Additional Info
Birch bark Needed to start fire 0.05kg Consumed in attempt
Cat tail head Needed to start fire 0.05kg Consumed in attempt
Newsprint Needed to start fire 0.10kg Consumed in attempt
Newsprint roll Needed to start fire 0.10kg Consumed in attempt
Tinder plug Needed to start fire 0.05kg Consumed in attempt

Fuel Edit

Using the arrows you may select any fuel currently carried in inventory. They are sequenced alphabetically. Each type of fuel differs in how much burn time it will add to a fire, how easy it is to light, and how much heat it will produce once burning.

Fuel Benefit Burn Time Heat
Book +35% chance to light 18 minutes 2°C
Cedar firewood +15% chance to light 1 hour 6°C
Coal (Cannot be used to start a fire) 1 hour 20°C
Fir firewood none 1.5 hours 9°C
Firelog +7% chance to light 2 hours 21°C
Reclaimed Wood (Negative 5% chance) 0.5 hours 3°C
Stick +15% chance to light 7.5 minutes 1°C
Torch (unlit) (Negative 5% chance) Up to 10 minutes, depending on condition Up to 1°C
Torch (burnt out) (Cannot be used to start a fire) Zero Zero
  • Contrary to developer comments, sticks actually add more heat to a fire (+8°C per hour of life added) than larger pieces of wood (+6°C per hour of life added).

Accelerant(optional) Edit

Using the arrows, one entire bottle of Accelerant or 0.30L of kerosene collectively from any Jerry cans or Lantern fuel bottles carried can be optionally added. Addition of either adds +40% to the likelihood of success and shortens the start time to only 1 minute.

  • Useful early on when firestarting skill is low or anytime a fire need be started quickly and confidently like to deter an imminent animal attack.

Firestarting skill Edit

See survival skills.

Chance of starting Edit

The chance of a fire starting attempt succeeding is calculated directly by adding the benefits of the character's skill and all the materials being used in the attempt. Example: An attempt by a character of skill 55 (+55%) using a wooden match (+5%) and reclaimed wood (-5%) and 0.30L of kerosene (+40%) will have a 95% chance of success (55+5-5+40=95).

  • Any chance of 100% or greater will be rounded down to 100% and cannot fail.

Attempting to start Edit

Activating the start button on the bottom right will launch an attempt. Progress bar appears in the top right corner. Normal attempts take 6 minutes to achieve success. Attempts that include an accelerant take only 1 minute. Starting attempt may be aborted by selecting cancel. It is also possible to be interrupted in an attempt by aggressive wildlife. Interrupted attempts count as failure.

Failing to start Edit

Failure, if it does occur by chance, will consume a random amount of time before canceling the progress bar and returning to the start page. Failing a starting chance consumes the tinder and any liquid used, but does not consume the fuel. Matches are consumed as ignition sources but torches and flares are not. Firestrikers suffer condition loss on every attempt, magnifying glasses do not.

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 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

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.

Cooking Edit

Cooking menu

The cooking menu

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 option can be accessed from the water drop symbol at the top left of the fire menu.

  • 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:

Purify up to 1.0L Water (unsafe) at fire for 10 minutes:

Note: Water purification tablets can also be used directly from Inventory to process unsafe water and require no time or fire to process.

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