Lance Dahl

Be Fire Smart – Recreational Fires

Lance Dahl, Fire Marshal, City of Spokane Fire Department, 509.625.7000

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 10:48 a.m.

Be Fire Smart – Recreational Fires

Spring is here, and the warmer weather and longer days mean more opportunities to be outside. Recreational fires can be the centerpiece of barbecues or summer evenings, and the Spokane Fire Department wants to help you and your household enjoy those moments safely.

Here are some tips to keep your recreational burning safe this year:

  • Ensure the fire is always being supervised by an adult.
  • Use clean, dry firewood or manufactured logs.
  • Keep fires 25 feet away from any buildings or structures that can catch fire.
  • Keep your fire small. Fires should be no more than 3 feet across and 2 feet high.
  • Have an extinguisher or hose nearby.
  • When you are ready to leave, make sure the fire is out completely! That means no smoke.

Remember, garbage and yard waste release toxic particles into the air when burned, and should be disposed of using the proper curbside carts. If you are interested in finding out more about yard waste removal through the city, you can visit our Food & Yard Waste Collection webpage.

If Spokane has no active burn restrictions, you can follow the safety advice above to enjoy using your fire pit, cooking s’mores, and relaxing outside. If a burn restriction is in place, this means there is a high risk that sparks can cause accidental fires due to hot and dry weather, and most recreational fires are not permitted. If this is the case, limit your cooking to gas or barbecue grills and make sure any portable devices, like chimeneas, have a spark arrestor and screen. Before starting your recreational fire, be sure to check on to see if there are any burn restrictions in Spokane.

Be respectful of your neighbors when you have a recreational fire in a residential area and avoid creating excess smoke and odor. It is illegal to smoke out your neighbors. While permits are not needed for recreational fires within the City of Spokane, recreational fires may not be allowed in some rental locations or under certain homeowner association covenants. Check with your landlord or home owner’s association if you have any questions.

If you want to find out more about burn restrictions and air quality in Spokane, be sure to visit the Spokane Clean Air website. The Spokane Fire Department wishes you and your household a fun and safe summer!

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