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Colorado Springs Fire Department Policy on Outdoor Fires

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In light of recent grass fires and extremely dry conditions, The Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD) wants to state its policy for recreational fires within the City limits: how we respond, engage and extinguish fires that fall outside of the guidelines of the 2009 National Fire Code.  The CSFD extinguishes all illegal fires whether they are in a backyard of a home or a public location.  The CSFD remains committed to the protection of life and property in fully enforcing the code.

When the CSFD Engines or Trucks respond to an outside fire investigation, the parameters our Company Officers work from are as follows:

Fire Code 302: Recreational Fires are extinguished if the fire falls outside of the following guidelines established by the 2009 National Fire Code

Fires which are not contained in a permanent fixture (incinerator, BBQ, outdoor fireplace)

  • Fire cannot be larger than 3 feet in diameter
  • Fire cannot be higher than 2 feet in flame length
  • Fire cannot be within 25 feet of any combustible (homes, tents, trees, bushes, trash)
  • Fire cannot be unattended: sleeping next to the fire is considered “unattended”. Person must be lucid and awake during burning
  • Fire must have means of extinguishment (water, sand, dirt)
  • Fire cannot burn any other fuels except wood or charcoal

Fires contained in an approved fire appliance (store-bought) have the following guidelines:

  • Fire cannot burn any other fuels except wood or charcoal
  • Fire cannot be unattended: sleeping next to the fire is considered "unattended".  Person must be lucid and awake during fire
  • Must have means of extinguishment (water, sand, dirt)
  • Fire cannot be within 15 feet of combustibles or structures. Exception: when the fire is on the premise of one and two-family dwellings the code allows it to be within 15 feet of combustibles or structure

The Colorado Springs Fire Department is partnering with the Colorado Springs Police Department and City of Colorado Springs on the issue of recreational fires in the City.  Collectively, we continue to educate all involved parties to the 2009 National Fire Code and its guidelines surrounding recreational fires, how the CSFD responds, and what occurs when companies arrive on the scene.

The CSFD also urges everyone in our community to carefully read the following link containing specific guidelines and code for all types of burning: https://csfd.coloradosprings.gov/outdoor-burning-guidelines  

The following link is a simple, quick reference guide with pictures: https://csfd.coloradosprings.gov/sites/csfd.coloradosprings.gov/files/ou...