Fire districts remind residents that permits are required for backyard campfires

With Memorial Day around the corner, Summit County’s fire districts are reminding residents to obtain their annual permits for backyard campfires on their property.

Permits have been required for all campfires on private property since last year, though the permits are free and easy to obtain as long as the conditions are met. Property owners can apply for a permit using the Community Connect portals linked to the Summit Fire & EMS and Red, White & Blue Fire Protection District websites.

After applying for a burn permit, inspectors from the appropriate fire district will contact the applicant with further details. Permits are issued to the property and not the occupant, which means owners of short-term rental properties have to obtain only one permit for their guests to have fires. Residents who acquired permits in 2020 will need to apply for a new permit this year.

“A big part of being a fire-safe community is understanding our responsibilities as residents,” Red, White & Blue Deputy Chief Jay Nelson said in a news release. “Enjoying backyard campfires is a wonderful pastime for us here in the mountains, and we just want to ensure that everyone understands the rules. Among those, you never leave a campfire unattended, and you always extinguish it fully so that it is literally cool to the touch when you are done. Nobody wants to see a campfire lead to a catastrophe.”

Fire permit requirements

• All fires on private property must be confined to a permanent outdoor fire ring, portable outdoor fireplace or a commercially designed chiminea.

• Fires must be limited to 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet of flame height.

• Fires must be at least 15 feet away from combustible materials and buildings.

• Fires must be covered by a mandatory, adequate (fire-rated metal) ember screen while burning.

• A means of extinguishing the fire, such as a garden hose or 5-gallon water bucket, must be on-site.

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