Recreational Fires

Recreational fires are permitted under Section 34-94 of the City of Portage Code of Ordinances. They are subject to the provisions of the Code and all associated rules and regulations.

Permits: Recreational fires may be kindled only if a permit has been obtained. To receive a permit, complete and submit the application below or contact the Fire Division at (269) 329-4487 or visit Fire Station #1, 7830 Shaver Road, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Original permits will be issued to property owners only after an inspection of the site of the proposed fires. Permits are valid for two years. A renewal may be granted without a re-inspection if no complaints have been received by during the previous permit period. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to apply for a renewal if one is desired. 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.

The current fee for a recreational fire permit inspection is $20. The permit renewal fee is $5.

Regulations For a Recreational Fire:

  • A recreational fire shall be constantly attended by a competent adult of 18 years or older until such fire is extinguished.
  • A garden hose connected to a water supply must be readily available any time a fire is kindled in addition to any other fire extinguishing equipment that may be present.
  • Materials to be burned must be in a pile no larger than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet high.
  • 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 or cooking purposes only. Burning of leaves, brush or other 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 the 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.

Fire Pits:

  • All recreational fires must be in an approved fire pit.
  • Fire pits must be at least 25 feet from all structures (per City ordinance) and should be 25 feet from property lines, if possible.  Pits closer than 25 feet from a property line require written approval from the neighboring property owner.
  • Fire pits must have a diameter no greater than three feet.
  • The fire pit must be lined with non-combustible material, such as brick or rock and must have a bare earth inside the liner.
  • Fire pits cannot be built under low-hanging branches or other combustible materials.