Everything you need to know about outdoor fires in Savannah

As the weather cools throughout Georgia in the fall, families and neighbors flock to fire pits to enjoy the outdoors and the warmth of the fire. But, you can’t just grab whatever you want to burn and start a fire anywhere you please. The Savannah Police Department has provided a handy guide for what you can burn, where you can burn it and what types of outdoor fires are considered legal.

Setting a fire in a fire pit or other outdoor container is commonly known as “open burning.”

Bonfires are prohibited under Savannah’s ordinances. The city defines bonfires as being for ceremonial purposes and are usually part of a public or private gathering. Bonfires require a permit issued by the Fire Prevention Office.

Other forms of open burning can be conducted on commercial and private property under the following conditions:

The fire must be primarily for food preparation or providing warmth and must be set in an approved container and not less than 15 feet from a structure.

Fires on the ground and not less than 50 feet from a structure for piles greater than 3’ x 2’. Charcoal and LP gas cooking devices can not be less than 10 feet from combustible construction. The fire must be constantly attended and you must have a means to extinguish the fire such as a fire extinguisher, garden hose, buckets of water, or available dirt, or sand.

Measures must be taken to insure the fire cannot spread. The fire also cannot cause a hazardous or objectionable situation, such as heavy smoke, obnoxious odors and lofting fire brands near flammable liquids.

In addition, you can only burn approved materials. Only materials such as fire wood, kindling, and charcoal can be burned. Leaves, vegetation from land clearing, lumber, construction materials, waste material, garbage, plastic, rubber, liquids not intended as charcoal starters, and similar materials are prohibited.

Portable outdoor fireplaces are not to be operated within 15 feet of structures or combustible materials except at one and two family dwellings.

City ordinance prohibits the kindling of a fire on a city property such as a public street or park. Outdoor fires are also prohibited on combustible balconies, porches, or patios unless sprinkled.

If you have any questions, you can contact the Fire Prevention Office at (912) 644-5960.

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