We receive several calls from residents each week asking on the policy of having recreational fires at their home. Here are the most frequently asked questions:
-I want to have a campfire in my backyard. Is this allowed? Recreational fires are allowed.
- What types of fires are permitted? Outdoor fires are permitted if you are cooking or grilling food for non-commercial purposes. Recreational fires in a fire pit, chiminea or outdoor fire place are permitted if they fall within specific size requirements. Fires can be no larger than 3 feet wide by 3 feet long by 3 feet tall.
- What are the requirements for a recreational burn? An adult is responsible for conducting, controlling and extinguishing the recreational fire. The fire must be extinguished if it causes an undue nuisance to neighboring residents or businesses.
- What is an approved fire pit? A fire pit is a device built or manufactured for small recreational fires. A portable, above ground fire pit or chiminea should be commercially manufactured and should be assembled and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. A permanently constructed fire pit or fireplace must be constructed or completely lined with non-combustible material such as brick, rock, concrete, or heavy gauge metal. Most commercially manufactured ones are acceptable.
-What can I burn? Only clean, dry firewood is allowed for any recreational fire. Burning of garbage or trash, plastic, rubber, grass, tree trimmings, brush, or painted, treated wood or lumber, or any kind of construction or demolition debris is strictly prohibited.
- When can I burn? If you are using an approved fire pit or fireplace you can burn almost any time you want. The exception to this when the wind is blowing 15 mph or higher, or if there is a smog or poor air quality alert in affect, or some type of ban on burning has been put into affect.
- What is a chiminea? A chiminea is a device usually made of some type of clay or ceramic material, designed for small fires. These small fireplaces usually have a short chimney of some kind.
- Why can I have a fire pit and not a barrel? A fire pit is designed to hold small recreational fires. This limits the amount, size, and type of materials that can be burned. Most people who use fire pits use them for recreational purposes and use clean dry firewood. Barrels are used largely to dispose of materials not approved. Barrels promote disposal of construction materials, trash and yard waste, all prohibited under Clean Air Standards.
- I want to have a pig roast. Nothing in your regulations says I can or can't. The regulations allow you to have a cooking fire that is sufficient for the amount of food you are cooking. Therefore, a fire that is large enough to cook a pig is allowed, for cooking purposes only.
- I want to clean up my yard. Is it ok to burn those branches and trees?
NO. Yard waste or debris is prohibited. You may use cut dry wood, and you may use kindling for starting a fire. Having a fire for the purpose of disposing of yard waste is not permitted under Ohio law.