Types of Permits
A Fire Permit is needed 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). There are two permit options:
- Daily Permit - The Daily Permit is free of charge (up to nine per year) and good for the date on the permit only.
- Annual Permit - The Annual Permit costs $20 and is good until the end of December in the year issued.
To obtain a permit, an adult (18 years or older) must come in person to the fire station between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm. The permit must be onsite while the fire is burning and all rules must be 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.
Recreational fire requirements are as follows:
- A connected garden hose or other means of extinguishment must be readily available.
- All fire rings or pits must be located a minimum of 25 feet away from any structures such as houses, garages and sheds. Manufactured enclosed freestanding fire pits must be located a minimum of 10 feet away from any structures such as houses, garages and sheds.
- Only clean, dry firewood may be burned (No leaves, building materials, plastics, etc.).
- 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.
- Recreational fires are not permitted on windy days when the smoke may create a nuisance for nearby neighbors.
- The fire must be constantly attended and supervised by an adult until the fire has been completely extinguished.
- The fire must be contained in a manufactured freestanding fire pit or ring or pit not exceeding three feet in diameter.
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.