With warmer weather comes the opportunity to get outside and enjoy a nice fire under the Minnesota night sky.
St. James Fire Chief Jason Monnens wants to remind anyone thinking about creating a recreational fire to take the necessary precautions to prevent an uncontrolled burn.
Here is a list of common questions associated with recreational fires along with answers according to the Minnesota State Fire Code.
How far are recreational fires supposed to be from a structure?
Recreational fires must be at least 25 feet from all buildings or combustible materials. Combustible materials include wood, paper and plastic. Fire can burn and spread quickly with as little as a switch in the wind. Keeping a recreational fire pit away from any combustible structures will prevent expensive fire damage.
Is it ok to leave a fire unattended if you are planning to return shortly?
Under no circumstance should a fire be left unattended. All recreational fires should be constantly attended until the fire burns out completely or is extinguished. Failure to comply to this rule can result in a citation. Residents who see an unattended burn are urged to contact the police immediately.
Should I keep something close by to put a fire out?
A minimum of one portable fire extinguisher or another approved on-site fire extinguishing device such as dirt, sand or a garden hose should be readily available at all times until a fire is extinguished. The easiest way to prevent an uncontrolled burn is to extinguish a fire before it spreads.
What is ok to burn in a recreational fire?
The only materials permitted in a recreational fire are wood from trees, small branches, brush or charcoal. Treated lumber materials, construction debris, garbage, plastic materials or waste materials are not allowed to be burned in recreational fires. These items can be damaging to the environment and the fumes from burning these items can be dangerous for humans to consume.