Open Burning/Fire Pits

Fire Do's and Dont's

We know that many residents like to enjoy outside fires this time of year, however there are restrictions in place throughout the City that are aimed at safety as well as not infringing on other residents rights to enjoy their residence free of irritating smoke. 

First off, outside fires can only be burned in approved containers that are manufactured of metal or ceramic. These containers must have covers and have legs to keep it off the ground, it must have a spark arrestor constructed of iron, heavy wire mesh or other non-combustible material with openings not larger than 1/2 inch. Chiminea style fire pits are also allowed. The fire pits must be at least 15 feet away from any structure and never leave the fire unattended at any time. 

Only dry, seasoned firewood can be burned. No leaves, clippings or brush can be burned at any time.

Fires are only allowed between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Please put the fire out properly when you are done enjoying it. 

Finally, even by following all the rules, your neighbors still retain the right to not be affected by the smoke that is determined to be “offensive or objectionable” to them. This situation can be hard to define, so we encourage friendly conversations between neighbors in order for there to be an understanding of everyone’s needs and desires. No resident is allowed to have a fire that they enjoy, at the cost of any of their neighbors not being able to enjoy their residence due to the effects of the fire. 

If a situation arrives that any resident feels these rules are being broken, we ask that they call the Dispatch Non-Emergency number ((586) 469-5502) to report the situation. The Fire Department will send out an apparatus, in a non-emergency fashion, to investigate. The arriving Fire Personnel will do their best to investigate the situation to ensure it complies with the Ordinance. Warnings will be delivered to any resident who is not following the Ordinance. The Fire Department can also call the Police Department to the scene in order to administer a citation for situations that call for it.

Please see the link to Fire Prevention Regulation 2-1, Open Burning. If there are any further questions, feel free to contact the Fire Department at (586) 446-2950 or by emailing the department at firedepartment@sterling-heights.net