A recreational fire is a fire at your residence that is used for the purpose of cooking, warming, or similar recreation. A permit is required from the Fire District. This is not backyard debris burning which is regulated by the DEQ.
A Recreational Fire permit is issued for people to have a warming fire or small cookout fire in an approved fire pit, made of non-combustible material (brick, stone, prefabricated metal, etc.), no larger than 3’ in diameter, and cleared of any other combustible material for at least 3’ from the burn area. There should be a means to extinguish the fire (water hose, shovel/sand, extinguisher, etc.) within 10’ of the fire. Fire with active flame must always be attended. Fires should be extinguished when complete or left to self-extinguish only in the case that there is minimal material left, the material is well contained, no open flames, and the fire is not generating a lot of smoke. Burning materials are limited to charcoal or clean wood (not scrap lumber), and flames should be less than 2’. It is not recommended to burn on high wind days or any time when embers can escape, and when a burn ban is in effect, wherein all permits will be suspended.
Care should be taken to limit the amount of smoke produced by the fire. Clean, dry, seasoned wood or charcoal will give off the least amount of smoke while wet wood will produce a lot more smoke. Days when the air pressure is low will cause smoke to lay more to the ground instead of dissipating into the air and this should be taken into consideration. Nothing should be thrown into the fire other than wood. Paper may be used to start the fire so long as it stays contained to the fire area. Trash cannot be put into the fire at any time.
We have created these guidelines to ensure the safety of having warming/cooking fires for community residents. They are similar to guidelines used by other agencies in the County.
NOTE: Recreational Fires may be subject to restrictions in extreme fire danger conditions (generally, only the use of commercial fluid/gas-fueled BBQs is permitted for cooking during those restricted no burn days – no charcoal or wood).
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I build a permanent fire pit on my private property?
Yes — the dimensions should be no larger than 3 feet inside diameter. It should be made of rock, brick or similar non-combustible materials.
What am I allowed to burn in my recreational fire?
You can burn only dry firewood or use charcoal. Wood must be contained inside the fire container.
Are there times I can't have a recreational fire?
Recreational fires are not allowed during extreme dry weather or when windy conditions exist. Under normal weather conditions, recreational fires are permitted even if it is a no burn day or outside of the burning hours for backyard burning. Please keep in mind to keep the smoke production down as much as possible (dry wood).
Can I have a large bonfire on my private property?
If you require a larger bonfire for a special one-time event, please contact the Fire District office, 541-360-0029, for a permit and to schedule an inspection of the site. Large bonfires must be placed at least 50 feet from any structure, land cleared for 30 feet in all directions, and cannot be conducted under windy or extremely dry conditions. Only clean wood is permitted and must always be attended by an adult.
Can I have an open campfire on my private property?
Campfires are a form of Recreational Fire outside the urban area (City Limits). Campfires are subject to a permit from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) if within ODF protected lands (541-929-3266). The guidelines for campfires include the provisions that they are at least 25 feet away from any structure or other combustibles. You need to make sure the area around the fire is cleared of anything that could catch fire (dry grass, dry brush). Any conditions that could cause a fire to spread to a structure or field must be removed prior to ignition. The campfire must be in a designated or self-made fire pit in a landscaped area — not in the woods.
Can I use an outdoor fireplace, fire pit or chimenea on my residential property?
Yes — it should be located at least 25 feet from a structure and needs to set on a non-combustible surface (dirt, sand, bricks, cement, etc.).
Can I use a chimenea or fire bowl on my wood deck?
The fire district does not recommend doing so, except in propane-fired commercial units. Always follow the manufacturer fire safety instructions included with your unit.