Open Fire Pits

Yarmouth Fire Department's policy concerning the use of "Open Fire Pits" is this:

527CMR 10.22(3) Persons 18 years of age or older may, without a permit, set, maintain or increase a reasonable fire for the purpose of cooking, upon sandy or gravelly land free from living or dead vegetation or upon sandy or rocky beaches bordering tidewater, if the fire is enclosed within rocks, metal or noncombustible material.

There is no type of special permit required for the use of outdoor fire pits on private property.

However, these are the rules to follow.

1. The purpose of the fire MUST be for cooking.

2. Keep the fire small and manageable (less than 3' in diameter).

3. Never use wet, damp, or "new" wood. This creates needless, irritating smoke. Always use dry, seasoned wood, charcoal, or specialist fuel (e.g. wood burning briquettes).

4. Do not cause a nuisance to neighbors.

5. If Yarmouth Fire Department receives complaints from neighbors that the smoke or smell is bothersome to them, we will investigate, and if deemed necessary, you may be instructed to extinguish, or allow it to burn out. If multiple complaints are justified you will not be allowed to burn.

6. The fire pit should be sited on a flat surface that is non-combustible. An area should be cleared around it 15' in all directions of all vegetation and combustibles.

7. The fire pit MUST be 30 feet from any habitable structure.

8. If using a manufactured fire pit, it is to be placed on a flat and level surface, on the ground. Fire pits are not allowed on decks. The fire pit should not wobble at all.

9. If assembly is required, be sure to read the assembly instructions carefully and attach any fastenings securely.

10. Do not leave the fire unattended. It could pose a hazard to both children and pets.

11. Make sure that the fire pit is placed away from other materials that could burn or catch fire, both overhead and to the side, such as tree branches, sheds, awnings, clothes lines, fences and plants.

12. Use long barbecue tongs to handle wood or food to lessen the risk of burning yourself. A pair of fire gloves would also be useful - the sides of cast iron fire pits in particular get very hot.

13. Never use a manufactured fire pit indoors.

14. It is advisable to keep a fire extinguisher or garden hose handy, for quick extinguishment if necessary.

15. Never use an accelerant to light any fire.

16. You should call Yarmouth Fire Department prior to lighting your outdoor fire at 508-398-2212 so we are aware that you are conducting outdoor burning.