Guide to Recreational Fires
firepit.jpg
Guide to Recreational Fires in the City of Altoona limits


What is a recreational fire?
An outdoor fire, burning materials other than rubbish, where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, portable outdoor fireplace, barbeque grill or barbeque pit and has a total fuel area of 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking warmth or similar purposes.

What are the rules for a recreational fire?
Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material.  Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.

What if my lot is too small for a recreational fire, do I have any alternatives?
Yes.  You can utilize a portable outdoor fireplace.  A portable outdoor fireplace is defined as:  A portable, outdoor, solid-fuel burning fireplace that may be constructed of steel, concrete, clay or other noncombustible material.  A portable outdoor fireplace may be open in design, or may be equipped with a small hearth opening and a short chimney or chimney opening in the top.

What are the rules for a portable outdoor fireplace?
Portable outdoor fireplaces shall be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and shall not be operated within 15 feet of combustible material.  The exception to this requirement is portable outdoor fireplaces that are used at one and two family dwellings.  This means that portable outdoor fireplaces can be used at one or two family dwellings as long as it is in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Are there any other rules for a having an outdoor fire at my home?
Yes, the fire must be attended at all times and until the fire is extinguished.  Also, a minimum of one portable extinguisher with a minimum 4-A rating or other approved on site fire extinguishing equipment, such as dirt, sand, water barrel, garden hose shall be available for immediate utilization.

Can I have a bonfire, or burn off brush on my property?
Any fire that does not fall within the classification of a recreational fire or a fire in a portable outdoor fireplace is by permit only.  You can contact the Fire Inspector for more information at 814-949-3398.

The City of Altoona utilizes the 2012 International Fire Code as its Fire Prevention Code.