GREAT FALLS, Mont. - If you're planning on enjoying your outdoor fire pit this summer, Great Falls Fire Rescue wants to make sure you do it safely.
That's why they have compiled a list of requirements when it comes to using you fire pit within city limits:
1. Outdoor fire pits can be purchased or constructed by the homeowner
2. If purchasing an outdoor fire pit or Chiminea, the fire pit shall be UL listed and come with a spark arrestor
3. Portable outdoor fire pits shall be used in accordance with manufactures instructions and shall not be operated within 15 feet of a structure or combustible material
4. If constructing a fire pit, it shall be constructed of non-combustible materials such as masonry bricks, metal or concrete. Fire pits shall also have a non-combustible bottom made of concrete, bricks or other non-combustible material
5. The fire pit shall have a fire/fuel area not to exceed four feet in diameter
6. The depth of the fire pit shall be a minimum of four inches and capable of containing all burned materials
7. All constructed fire pits shall have a spark arrestor
8. Non-portable fire pits shall not be located within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material
9. Hand dug fire pits without non-combustible materials are NOT considered an approved fire pit
10. All fires shall not exceed three feet in diameter and two feet in height
11. Only firewood or charcoal shall be burned
12. Construction materials, yard waste, vegetation and garbage CAN NOT be burned
13. Any propane or natural gas fire tables must follow all manufacturer's specifications (In the absence of specifications, fire tables shall be at least 15 feet from any type of structure or combustible material
When using a fire pit, follow safety protocols:
- Always have a fire extinguisher or water source nearby
- Make sure the fire is constantly attended
- Keep a first aid kit nearby for any accidental burns
- Put out the fire completely before leaving the pit unattended or before finishing the evening
- Make sure to completely extinguish embers
- Do not light or use a fire during windy conditions
- If fire restrictions are implemented, do not burn (Dry conditions could influence rampant fires based on a single ember or spark)
- NEVER allow a child to start a fire or play near a fire, make sure they are supervised while around a fire
- Always use dry wood and kindling to light your fire
- NEVER throw any materials besides seasoned woods onto your fire
- Be aware that GFFR or GFPD can order fires to be extinguished, such as those that create objectional odors, smoke, nuisances or when local conditions make fire hazardous
Applicable city ordinances:
8.48.020 – Conditions allowing restrictions.
The City Manager or designee, in consultation with the Fire Chief, may restrict by written finding all outdoor residential open or closed burning on any of the following conditions:
The Cascade County Commission has established fire restrictions pursuant to Mont. Code Ann. § 7-33-2212, as may be amended;
- Open burning would be inconsistent with a local air pollution control program established pursuant to Mont. Code Ann. § 75-2- 301, as may be amended;
- The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has issued an unhealthy, very unhealthy, or hazardous air quality warning for all or a portion of Cascade County;
- There exists, an active wild or structural fire within Cascade County that poses a potential threat to properties located within the incorporated City limits; or
- There exist, other conditions, in the judgment of the Fire Chief, that create a danger to persons or property, if outdoor burning continues or is allowed.
- The City Manager or designee shall make a written finding determining that residential outdoor burning shall be restricted. Said finding shall describe the condition or conditions warranting the restrictions.
- The burning of refuse is prohibited.
- A violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a term not to exceed six months in jail, a fine not to exceed $500, or both.