Recreational Fires


Recreational Fires

A Fire Permit is required for any kind of open burning outside with the exception of barbecue grills (This includes enclosed wire mesh fire pits and clay pot fire pits).

The city has temporarily suspended the issuance of Annual Permits.
Annual permits are a forward-facing service, which have been suspended by the city until further notice.

Alternately, the city is temporarily waiving the limit of nine (9) one-day permits per address and has created an online application for a single day-fire permit. Day permits are free and can be applied for up to three (3) days in advance.

Permit Requirements
To obtain a permit apply here between the hours of 8 AM and 6 PM. Your permit approval must be onsite while the fire is burning and all rules are to be strictly followed. Open burning of grass, leaves, cardboard, garbage, etc. is not allowed in the City of Columbia Heights. An adult must be in constant attendance during all burning.

Fire Requirements 
Recreational fire requirements are as follows: 
  • Recreational Fires are not permitted on windy days when the smoke may create a nuisance for nearby neighbors.
  • The fire must be contained in a manufactured freestanding fire pit or ring or pit not exceeding three (3) feet in diameter.
  • Fires must be contained in a fire ring, pit, or manufactured freestanding fire pit not to exceed three feet (.9 meters) in diameter.
  • Fire rings or pits must be located a minimum of 25 feet (7.62 meters) away from all structures such as houses, garages and sheds. Manufactured enclosed freestanding fire pits must be located a minimum of 15 feet (4.5 meters) away from all structures.
  • Valid times to burn are from 11 AM to 11 PM. All Fires MUST be extinguished by 11 PM. NO EXCEPTIONS!!
  • ONLY clean, dry firewood may be burned (NO LEAVES, BUILDING MATERIALS, PLASTICS, ETC.)
  • The fire must be constantly attended and supervised by an adult until the fire has been completely extinguished.
  • A connected garden hose or other means of extinguishment bust be readily available.
  • Police and Fire Department officers are authorized to require that a recreational fire be immediately extinguished and discontinued if it is determined that the fire is not in compliance with the above rules, the smoke is offensive to nearby neighbors, or the burning is determined to constitute a hazardous condition.
State Fire Code
The State Fire Code does not allow the use of barbecue grills, recreational fire devices, torches or anything that causes an open flame, on any balcony above ground level and on any ground floor patio within 15 feet of the building in properties that contain three or more units. The code also doesn't allow the storage of barbecue grills, torches etc., and lighting chemicals in these same areas.

Minnesota Government Data Practices Act – Chapter 13
“Tennessen Warning”
Data is requested from the applicant on various forms. The purpose and intended use of the requested data is to verify the applicant meets all state statute and city code provisions and, if the license or permit is approved, to verify that all required data remains current.
The following data collected, created, or maintained is classified under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act as Private data until license approval when the data becomes Public: (13.41, Subd. 5).

  1. Data submitted by applicants (including name, email, telephone numbers, and addresses).
  2. Orders for hearing and findings of fact.
  3. Conclusions of law and specification of the final disciplinary action contained in the record of the disciplinary action.
  4. Entire record concerning the disciplinary proceeding.
  5. License numbers.
  6. License status.

The following data collected, created, or maintained is classified under the Act as private and/or confidential data (Minn. Stat. 13.41, Subd. 2):

  1. Active investigative data relating to complaints against any license.
  2. The identity of complainants who have made reports concerning licenses or applicants which appear in inactive complaint data unless the complainant consents to disclosure.
  3. The information related to unsubstantiated complaints when it is not maintained in anticipation of legal action.
  4. Inactive investigative data relating to violations of statutes of rules.
  5. Record of disciplinary proceedings, except as limited by the provisions above.
  6. Trade secrets, as defined under Minnesota law.
  7. Sensitive security and safety information.
  8. Social Security number, MN Business Identification Number, and Driver’s License Number
  9. Disability Information

Under law, private data may be shared with licensing and inspection employees, approval authorities insurance providers, law enforcement employees, contracted inspection officials, as required by court order and City officials who have a bona fide need for it. The City of Columbia Heights may make any data classified as private or confidential accessible to an appropriate person or agency if the license agency determines that failure to make the data accessible is likely to create a clear and present danger to public health or safety.
We ask that you complete or provide all data requested on the application form(s) unless we have noted that it is not required. Refusal to supply required information may mean that your application cannot be processed.