MAILBAG: What are city fire rules?

Mark Brooky • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:47 AM

wed for a recreational fire on the private property of a person living in the city? It seems that these campfire-type fires are going on in an increasing amount within the past 10 years. I thought there was a fire ban on outdoor fires in the city. I find the smoke from these fires highly annoying."


The City of Grand Haven has adopted the International Fire Code regarding the rules specific to recreational fires. The requirements are listed below.

"We do not have a ban on outdoor fires at this time," Lt. Renee Freeman of the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety said late last week. "If weather conditions warrant it, a ban may be put in place."

Recreational Fire Requirements

1. Open Burning: "Not in a container on the ground," must be 50 feet from any structure or combustible material.

2. Pile size 3 feet in diameter and 2-feet high or less must be 25 fee from any structure or combustible material.

3. Fires in approved containers or portable outdoor fireplaces must not be any less than 15 fee from any structure or combustible material. "Approved containers consist of clay or metal rings no larger than 3-by-2-feet manufactured and purchased purposely of fire containment"

4. All fires must be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished.

5. A minimum of one portable fire extinguisher with minimum 4-A rating or other approved on-site fire extinguishment equipment — such as dirt, sand, water barrel, garden hoses or water truck — shall be available for immediate utilization.

6. No burning of yard waste or trash is allowed.

7. No fires during high winds, drought, or any other manmade or natural conditions that could create or add to a hazardous or objectionable situation.

8. Burning that is offensive or objectionable because of smoke emissions or when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances that makes such fires hazardous. You will be asked to extinguish.

9. GHDPS is the Fire Code Authority and is authorized to order extinguishment and cite if necessary. (Under adopted IFC 2009 section 307)

So, if a neighbor is violating the code, or the burning is "offensive or objectionable" because of the smoke, call the Department of Public Safety and report it.

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