Recreational fires are a popular activity in Cedar Rapids, whether it is sitting around an outdoor fire with friends enjoying the evening or cooking hot dogs. The Cedar Rapids Fire Department is concerned about your safety so we have enacted some simple guidelines to make your experience both enjoyable and safe!
Recreational fires are allowed in the city limits, provided the guidelines are followed. The Cedar Rapids Fire Department is authorized to require recreational fires to be immediately discontinued if these guidelines are not followed. Also, the Fire Department complies with all burn bans issued by Linn County or the State of Iowa. Illegal burning can result in an Air Pollution Complaint report, which may result in a $200 fine.
Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure (i.e. house, garage, shed) or combustible material. The distance can be reduced to a 15 feet minimum IF the unit has complete protection and a lid - such as a screen with lid. The total fuel area shall be 3 feet or less in diameter and 24 inches or less for fuel height. An attendant should stay with the fire constantly and continue to supervise until the fire is extinguished. The attendant should have buckets, shovels, garden hoses, or a fire extinguisher (4A minimum rated) readily available for use.
Contaminated or treated wood should not be burned. NEVER burn treated lumber or railroad ties as they contain derivatives of arsenic or cyanide and produce poisonous gases.
The following items are not to be burned within the city limits:
Do not allow children or your pets to play around a fire. Also, do not allow children to throw items into a fire. Local burn units have reported several cases of severe burns caused by the explosion of an aerosol can when thrown into a fire. Remember, Cedar Rapids has a recycling program for yard waste.
Use common sense and respect your neighbors by not allowing smoke to blow toward their home or laundry, for example. Recreational fires are not safe when winds exceed 15 mph.
If the Cedar Rapids Fire Department determines that a hazardous condition exists, we can require extinguishment even if all the above conditions are met.
For more information, contact the Cedar Rapids Fire Department at (319) 286-5166.