WF Fire Corner: Recreational fires are allowed, but we must be careful | INFORUM

Local News 3 days ago IN FORUM 29

While I am writing this article, it is almost 60 degrees outside and in March.

Just like you I am hoping for an early spring. This winter has been very mild by North Dakota standards but with COVID-19 restrictions it seems like this past year has lasted forever. The light at the end of the tunnel seems to be coming in our weather and passing the 100 million vaccinated mark; we are on our way to better times.

Now that the weather is warming up many of us are getting out of the house as quickly as possible to enjoy the nicer weather. We did not get a lot of snow this year and we have had windy and warmer days that are drying up our yards. It’s the perfect time to get out there and start spring cleaning and with that cleaning comes the temptation to enjoy an outdoor fire.

So, if you are doing a little trimming on your trees and have some small branches to burn, it is a perfect time to have a recreational fire. Recreational fires are allowed within the city limits of West Fargo. However, yard waste like leaves and grass should not be thrown onto a fire. Adding either one can create allot of smoke and can smolder for long periods.

The guidelines for open burning are:

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- All fires must be in an approved container along with a spark arresting lid. The majority of advertised fire pits at local stores meet requirements but you should check with your local fire department.

- Recreational fires have to be located 25 feet from a structure/combustible material.

- A way to put a fire out should be readily available (fire extinguisher, garden hose, etc.)

- Any complaints from neighbors from smoke or odor will result in putting the fire out. Please pay attention to the wind direction and speed. If it is very windy, please do not burn.

- If the fire index is at a “high fire rating” a burning ban of any type may be issued. So check before you burn.

- Larger fires that exceed a recreational fire are not allowed. Any fire larger would require a permit from the fire department.

We all enjoy a small fire, whether it be in the backyard or on your driveway, but we have to do our best to be safe. So please be mindful of neighbors and weather conditions. Also, please make sure your fire is out before you retire for the evening, a good way is to use your poker and stir the ashes and douse them with more water. Assuming the fire is out can leave a potential ember to be carried by a gust of wind and start a fire elsewhere.

Stay fire safe and enjoy your spring.

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