Are recreational fires allowed?
Yes, recreational fires are allowed, but only under the conditions set out in the current International Fire Code (IFC) :
- For clarity, a fire pit includes belowground pits, freestanding fireplaces, and portable devices intended to contain and control outdoor fires.
- All belowground fire pits shall be at least four inches in depth and shall be surrounded on the outside, aboveground, by a non-combustible material such as steel, brick, or masonry. The fire pit cannot exceed three feet in diameter, nor may the fire pile exceed two feet in height.
- Fire pits may be used in accordance with the manufacturers specifications and these regulations:
- Only natural firewood/commercial logs may be burned. Burning of lumber, pallets, scrap wood, tree trimmings, leaves, yard waste, paper, cardboard, garbage and similar items is not permitted.
- All fire pits must be located away from any structure or combustible material.
- Belowground fire pits and freestanding fireplaces must be located a minimum of 25 feet away from any structure or combustible material.
- Portable fire pits must be located a minimum of 15 feet away from any structure or combustible material.
- The fire must be constantly attended and supervised until the fire has been completely extinguished.
- A portable fire extinguisher or other approved extinguishing equipment, such as a garden hose, dirt, sand, or water barrel must be readily available
- Any fires that produce objectionable or offensive smoke or odor are prohibited.
- Fires may not be burned between hours of 11pm and 7am
- When current conditions or local circumstances make fires hazardous, fires are also prohibited.
- IFC 307.4.2 Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.
- IFC 307.4.3 Portable outdoor fireplaces shall be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and shall not be operated within 15 feet of a structure or combustible material.
One of the most common problems with recreational fires is that there is a potential of unwanted smoke and odor. Sometimes the smoke can irritate neighbors or possibly affect those with health problems. The best practice is to let them know why you are starting the fire beforehand. Also, if the smoke becomes a nuisance, and they let you know, it should be extinguished. As a fire department, we will require the fire to be put out if we receive complaints about the smoke or odor.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to call us at (801) 804-4540