Recreational Fires

Before You Light It… Know the City of Holland’s Open Burning Regulations

During warmer weather our attention turns to outdoor recreation and entertainment, some of which may include an outdoor recreational fire. Recreational fires are generally defined as any outdoor fire such as a camp fire or cooking fire located at a single- or two-family private residence, camp ground, marina, institutional or community event for the purpose of recreation, personal enjoyment, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes.

The City of Holland does allow recreational type fires in the city limits so long as such fires are started and tended in compliance with the following requirements and are in accordance with section 307 of the 2012 International Fire Code:

Location and Size

 The minimum distance from a structure or combustible material shall be 15 feet if the fire is contained in an approved container. A metal ring, stone/brick surrounds, and outdoor fireplace are examples of approved containers.

 Portable outdoor fireplaces (also known as patio fireplaces) shall be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and shall not be used within 15 feet of a structure or combustible material. Section 307.4.3 Exception 1, exempts one- and two-family dwellings from the distance requirement in this section.

If no approved containment is utilized, the minimum distance from a structure or combustible material shall be 25 feet. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.

Your recreational fire can be no larger than 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height regardless of the type or location as addressed above.

Material to burn 

Seasoned, untreated wood is the only material which may be burned in a recreational fire. By way of illustration but not limitation, the following materials shall not be burned in a recreational fire: garbage, recyclable items, yard waste, any materials made of or coated with rubber, plastic, leather, or petroleum-based materials, and flammable or combustible liquids.

Attendance & Restricted Hours 

Recreational fires shall be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished. A fire extinguisher, garden hose, water barrel, dirt or sand shall be available for immediate utilization. Subject to all other provisions of this Ordinance, there are no prohibited hours of operation for a recreational fire.

Additional Information 

DO NOT burn tree trimmings, yard waste, leaves, and grass, trash or construction materials. Despite all precautions being taken, it would be at the discretion of the Holland Fire Department to extinguish or have extinguished any fire that does not fall within these guidelines or that of which could be considered a nuisance.