Having a backyard recreational fire? Follow the law and be a good neighbor

May 10, 2023

As a late spring eases in, some Minneapolis neighbors will be enjoying more outside time around outdoor fires. Following these laws will help keep Minneapolis neighborhoods safe and livable:

  • Outdoor recreational fires are permitted between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m.
  • Keep fires small: less than three feet in diameter and two feet high.
  • Postpone a fire when Minneapolis is under an air pollution advisory. Fires release fine particles that contribute to air pollution and are implicated in health problems including strokes, heart attacks and asthma. Sign up for air quality alerts from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
  • Burn only untreated, unpainted, dry wood. Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris, because the smoke can be toxic.
  • Fire must be at least 25 feet away from a structure or combustible material and in a fire ring or pit with edges more than six inches high.
  • Have a hose or fire extinguisher present.
  • Postpone the fire when the wind exceeds 10 mph.
  • Fire must be constantly attended by someone 18 years or older and completely out before being abandoned.

Illegal open burning or recreational fires could result in a fine.

Be a good neighbor

These simple suggestions could help neighbors be considerate of each other when having a fire:

  • Let neighbors know when planning a fire.
  • Postpone a fire when smoke will blow directly at a neighbor’s house or when still weather conditions prevent smoke from moving away at all.
  • Understand that recreational fires can have serious health impacts, especially for children, older adults and people with existing health conditions.
  • Consider fewer fires. Frequent burning can have a serious impact on neighbors.
  • If neighbors say they are affected, respect the serious medical harm a fire could do to them and extinguish the fire.

Below are links to videos in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong on how to have a safe recreational fire in Minneapolis:

Recreational fires in the city
Here's what you need to know when having a recreational fire in Minneapolis.

Fogatas en la Ciudad (Spanish)
Esto es lo que tienes que saber cuándo hagas una fogata en Minneapolis.

Qor-yo gub ka magaalada (Somali)
Waa tanaa waxaad u baahantahey mar ka aad dooney-sid in aad dibada ku shidid dab gudaha miniyaabolis.

Hluav taws los yog bonfire hauv nroog (Hmong)
Ntwam no yuav qhia koj txoj cov hluav taws nyob nruam zoo hauv nroog Minneapolis.

For more information on recreational fires or to register a complaint about a recreational fire, call 311 or email Minneapolis311@minneapolismn.gov, or to register a complaint about a recreational fire outside 311 hours, call 911. The Fire and Police departments are authorized to extinguish a fire immediately if it violates City ordinances.

For the Minneapolis law on recreational fires, visit the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances, Chapter 178.

Learn more about air quality research in Minneapolis on the City website.