Recreational Fires

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Recreational Fires

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

Permit Requirements
Permits may be obtained from the Fire Department located at 825 41st Avenue NE, Columbia Heights between the hours of 8 AM and 4:30 PM Monday through Friday. Residents are allowed nine (9) FREE Daily Recreational Fire Permits per year or an Annual Recreational Fire Permit can be purchased for $25.

The Fire Department accepts the following payment methods: check, credit card, money order, and cash (exact change only, no change will be provided).
The permit 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.

Check MN DNR Current burning restrictions before igniting your fire. Recreational fires are NOT allowed (whether you have a permit or not) whenever the MN DNR elevates burning restrictions to include campfire restrictions.

Burning hours: 11 AM to 11 PM

ALL Fires MUST be extinguished by 11 PM NO EXCEPTIONS!!

The City of Columbia Heights STRICTLY enforces the rules for recreational fires and any violation(s) of the rules, city ordinance, or state law are subject to revocation of the permit, suspension of permit privileges, fines, and citation (ticket).


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 free-standing 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 to and supervised by an adult until the fire has been completely extinguished.
  • A connected garden hose or other means of extinguishment must 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. The 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 the 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 licensed 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.