Outdoor Burning Info

Outdoor burning safety graphic for web page

Your fire needs to be in a container that is in good condition and is difficult to burn. This can be as simple as dirt and a ring of rocks (no roots or other vegetation inside or around the ring) or as fancy as a permanent outdoor fireplace. Other good ideas are fire rings, fire bowls, chimineas, and fire pits.

Use the fuel designed for your appliance such as natural gas, propane, or wood. Only use dry, cut or split firewood; do not burn rubbish, garbage, or yard waste including grass and branches. 

Burn wood stacked no more than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet high in the burn container.

Keep your fire at least 15 feet from things that will catch fire including trees, overhanging branches, walls, decks, and patios.

Be ready to put the fire out. Keep a bucket of water, shovel, connected garden hose, or fire extinguisher close by.

Someone who can extinguish the fire must monitor the fire at all times. Sparks and brands can quickly start an unwanted fire, especially on warm and windy days.

If your smoke is bothering your neighbors, you may need to put the fire out.

Ensure the weather is not too windy and not too hot. You are responsible for all damage caused by your fire, even if wind caused the fire to spread. You could also be responsible for the cost of extinguishing the fire if you were negligent in preventing the fire.  

Always follow manufacturer's instructions. Click here to download a copy of these safety requirements and a sketch of suggested placement.

Fine print, disclaimers, and exclusions

*Backyard burning is a term used to describe the difference of  barbequing, bonfires, and having a nice family evening around a fire regardless if it is in your backyard, front yard, or driveway.

*If you are burning fuel stacked more than 3 feet in diameter by 2 feet high, burning yard debris including a slash pile, or otherwise exceeding these safety requirements such as burning for a sweat lodge, you need a permit. The only exception is if you have been given a rare continual-use permit. Click here to download a permit request and requirements. Return completed permits to our administrative offices at 10 Main Street.

*An outdoor burning ban does not apply to barbeque grills or other similar cooking appliances. Extreme care should be used when grilling if conditions do not allow backyard burning.


Is there an Outdoor Burning Ban?

The City of Rapid City bans backyard fire pit burning when the South Dakota Grasslands Fire Danger is Very High or Extreme for Rapid City.

The ban prohibits the use of outdoor appliances such as chimineas, fire places, recreational fires, fire pits, etc. Typical cooking appliances, such as LP gas fire appliances, remain acceptable.

Most fire stations have signs for the Fire Danger as determined by the National Weather Service or you can look on the National Weather Service website we use to determine our fire danger.

More in this category: « Fire Danger Information

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