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Posted on: June 14, 2019

Recreational Campfires

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Recreational Campfire Permits

Sometimes there is nothing more relaxing than sitting around a small campfire on a summer evening.  However, because it does pose a fire danger, Portage residents may only kindle a recreational campfire if a permit has been obtained. 

Recreational campfire permits will be issued to residents only after an inspection of the site of the proposed fires. To apply for a new permit or renew an existing permit, contact the Department of Public Safety - Fire Division at 329-4487 or visit Fire Station #1 (7830 Shaver Road) between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday.  Permits are valid for two years and may be renewed without a re-inspection if no complaints have been received during the previous permit period.  The fee for a new recreational fire permit inspection is $20 and the renewal fee is $5.  A permit expired for more than 90 days will be treated as a new permit.  

Fire Pit Construction

All recreational fires must be kindled in an approved fire pit. A permit is not required for a commercial outdoor fireplace or similar device; however, the rules and regulations for recreational fires must still be followed.

  • Fire pits must be located at least 25 feet from all structures and property lines.
  • Fire pits must have a diameter no greater than three feet.
  • The fire pit must be lined with non-combustible material, like brick or rock and must have bare earth inside the liner.
  • Fire pits cannot be built under low-hanging branches, wires, or other combustible materials.

Regulations for a Recreational Fire

  • A recreational fire must be constantly attended by an adult until extinguished.
  • A garden hose connected to a water supply must be readily available any time a fire is kindled.
  • No fire may be kindled when the wind speed is 10 mph or greater.  If wind speed increases to in excess of 10 mph the fire must immediately be extinguished.
  • All fires must be extinguished prior to midnight.
  • Fires are for recreational and cooking purposes only.  Burning of leaves, brush yard waste or construction waste is expressly prohibited.
  • The permit holder will be responsible for the abatement of conditions that cause complaints from others.  This includes heavy smoke, noxious odors, floating debris, etc.

Violations of these rules and regulations can cause the fire to be extinguished and the possible issuance of a civil citation for a violation of the adopted fire code.  Questions about recreational fire permits can be directed to the Department of Public Safety - Fire Division at 329-4487.

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