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Posted on: April 22, 2020

Clarification on burning within the City of Bismarck

When burn bans or burn restrictions are issued by neighboring counties, people often ask if those restrictions also apply to the City of Bismarck.  Hopefully this PSA will help answer those questions. 


Burn bans and burn restrictions issued by neighboring counties do not apply to the City of Bismarck.  Burning within the City is limited to the following:  Gas and charcoal grills, fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, portable outdoor fireplaces, chimaneas, and patio heaters.  


Follow these simple guidelines to safely operate grills, outdoor fireplaces, portable outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, and chimaneas.


•    Total fuel area should not exceed three (3) feet in diameter and two (2) feet in fuel height.

•    Fire should be located a minimum of 15 feet away from any combustibles.

•    Have a fire safety plan.

•    Have a fire extinguisher or water hose available at all times.

•    Do not operate on wood decks, in enclosed patio decks, or under overhangs.

•    Do not burn garbage, leaves, rubbish, or rotten wood that will produce nusiance smoke.

•    Use a spark arrestor screen to control sparks and embers, when provided with the unit.

•    Be aware of wind and weather conditions before you use your fire pit or chiminea.

•    Keep children and pets away at least 3 feet away.

•    Never leave a fire unattended!

•    Make sure that the fire is out before you leave.

•    Never discard ashes into a combustible container or garbage receptacle. Place them in a metal container first and wet them thoroughly with water.


Fire Pit Guidelines


•    Commercially manufactured fire pits are limited to a maximum size of 36 inches in diameter.

•    Fire pits built as a structure, as part of the permanent landscape design, are limited to 36 inches in diameter.  The fire pit should be lined with fire brick to protect the masonry from cracking and possibly fragmenting from rapid expansion of moisture in the masonry.  Spark arrestors should be in place when using the fire pit.


While operating fire pits or chimaneas, if the smoke or odor emission becomes offensive or objectionable, you can be required to extinguish the fire.  


For more information on burning within the City of Bismarck, the City Code of Ordinances, and the adopted Fire Code, contact the Bismarck Fire Department at 701-355-1400

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