Recreational Fires Require Permit And Must Comply With City Code

The chill in the air that comes with fall sometimes carries a whiff of woodsmoke, as people enjoy backyard fires in the evening. Recreational fires in Golden Valley require a permit and must comply with City Code.

Recreational fires are outdoor fires that burn only wood. Leaves, trash, or garbage must not be burned or used as starting material.

A Recreational Fire Permit is required and can be obtained from the City at no charge. Permits are valid until December 31 of the year issued and will be revoked for one year if any of the provisions below are violated. Apply or renew online or in person at the Public Safety building (7800 Golden Valley Rd) 24 hours daily.

Fire Site Requirements

  • Must be a safe distance away from any structure.
  • Must be contained within an area:
    • three feet or less in diameter and three feet or less in height
    • completely surrounded by noncombustible and nonsmoke- or odor-producing material (either natural rock, cement brick, tile, or block of metal only)
    • depressed below ground, on the ground, or on a raised bed (this includes manufactured fireplaces)
  • A garden hose or other adequate means of extinguishment shall be available for emergency purposes.

Required Conditions

  • Fire must be constantly attended by a responsible person over age 18 until extinguished. Fire must be fully extinguished when unattended.
  • During the time a recreational fire is burning, the Recreational Fire Permit must be available upon request by the City Manager or designee.
  • Winds cannot exceed 10 MPH. The prevailing winds at the time of the burning must be away from nearby residences.
  • No flammable or combustible liquid shall be used.
  • Leaves, trash, or garbage must not be burned or used as starting materials.
  • The wood shall be clean and produce little detectable smoke or odor.
  • The City Manager or designee is authorized to require that recreational fires be immediately discontinued if smoke emissions are offensive to occupants of surrounding properties or if the City Manager or designee determines that the fire constitutes a dangerous condition or public nuisance.
  • When prohibited by action of any state or federal agency, recreational fires are not permitted.

According to the Golden Valley Fire Department, there is a state burning ban for open fires (bonfires) but not for recreational fires that are tended according to the above requirements and conditions. To report a non-compliant recreational fire, call 911.

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