Despite the rain, bonfire season has arrived and there are many different regulations in place to keep the community safe and prevent fires from getting out of control.
“The biggest concern is keeping [fires] away from other things that can burn,” Casey Holling, a Cheney firefighter, said. “Just be responsible.”
There are two types of outdoor fires, according to the Cheney Fire Department. A recreational fire is used for cooking, pleasure, religious and ceremonial settings. This type of fire is not contained in an outdoor fire place, grill or barbecue pit.
A patio fireplace is often portable and is usually used outdoors. They may or may not contain a chimney.
Burning of either type of fire requires a permit. Contact the Cheney Fire Department for permit information.
According to Holling, it is important to talk to neighbors, so they know the burning will be taking place.
Also talk to the property owner for individual rules on burning. Often times, they have restrictions for burning recreational fires.
Tim Steiner, a lieutenant for the Cheney fire department, also recommends having renter’s insurance.
“For those that live off campus, renter’s insurance is cheap and necessary,” Steiner said.
He said that renter’s insurance covers more than fire damage, like flooding, but cautions that fires can get out of control and it would help cover the costs of the damage.
Restrictions on burning happen often during the summer months. When the air quality is described as poor, the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency may restrict burning, both indoors and out. This is known as an “air quality burn ban.”
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources is listing the fire danger in
the area at low. Burning with the proper permit is allowed.
As far as the upcoming summer, only time will tell.
“I think they are expecting a moderate season,” Steiner said.
The Cheney Fire Department offers these guidelines when burning recreational res:
- The fire is not more than three feet in diameter.
- A patio fireplace cannot be within 10 feet of a structure or vegetation. Single family homes and duplexes are exempt from this restriction.
- The fire is at least 25 feet from any structure or combustible material. Remove the material before burning.
- Do not burn trash and yard waste.
- Make sure you have fire extinguishing equipment, which should include a shovel, two buckets of water or a garden hose and a fire extinguisher with a 4-A rating.
- The fire is attended by an adult until extinguished.
- Never leave the fire unattended.
- The fire is conducted on property that allows burning and is not on public property such as parks or school grounds.
- Make sure there is not a “burn ban” in effect.