April 27, 2020
Ask the Chief
Q: What are the rules of backyard campfires?
A: Thank you, with the current stay at home order and weather getting nicer, more community members will have “recreational fires." City of Red Wing code, Chapter 10, Public Protection, Crimes and Offenses, Section 10.19, Subdivision 4 covers recreational fires. You may have a recreational fire without a permit, as long as the following requirements are met:
1. Recreational fires shall be in a commercially purchased or fire department-approved burning appliance or contained in a pit below grade.
2. Pits shall be a maximum of three feet in diameter and a minimum of one foot deep. Flames from the fire shall not exceed three feet above ground level. Any fires larger than this shall be considered open burning and be regulated by permit.
3. Burning appliances and fire pits shall be located a minimum of 25 feet from any structure; 15 feet from any power line or property line.
4. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread to any structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.
5. The regulation form shall specifically list the materials that can and cannot be burned.
6. All burning materials shall be contained within the burning appliance or fire pit at all times.
7. A responsible adult shall be in attendance at all times during recreational fires.
8. A suitable means of controlling or extinguishing the fire must be available at all times. This may be accomplished by the use of a water hose, shovel and dirt or sand, or fire extinguisher.
9. The Goodhue County Sheriff’s office shall be notified at 651.385.3155 prior to ignition.
10. The Fire Chief, Fire Marshal, any firefighter, DNR employee, or other peace officer is authorized to require burning to be immediately discontinued if local weather conditions warrant or if recreational burning is deemed to be a public nuisance.
11. Recreational fires are prohibited when burning restrictions or bans are in place.
12. Violating or exceeding any regulations listed on the form shall be cause for immediate extinguishment of the fire. If party remains non compliant, it can result in a misdemeanor violation.
NOTE: Only charcoal or seasoned fire wood may be burned. Burning shall not be used for the purpose of disposal of rubbish, brush, leaves, grass, construction materials, or stained, painted, varnished, or chemically treated lumber.
Violations may be reported to the Red Wing Police Department non-emergency number at 651.385.3155. Stay aware, stay safe and stay healthy!
References and Resources:
1. City of Red Wing City Code, located online at: http://lf.ci.red-wing.mn.us/weblink/0/doc/159293/Page1.aspx
2. City of Red Wing webpage: https://www.red-wing.org/195/Permits-Fees
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