close menu
This website uses cookies to store your accessibility preferences. No personal / identifying information is stored. More info.

Recreational Fires

Recreational Fires

Recreational fires (camp fires) are restricted by size and material. A recreational fire cannot exceed three feet in diameter nor shall it exceed three feet in height (height of material stacked to burn). The burn site must be completely surrounded with non-combustible material and be constantly attended. Please review the following guidelines before starting your recreational fire:

  • Only clear, dry, wood can be burned.
  • The fire shall not exceed the 3x3 guideline.
  • They fire shall only take place on your property and be a minimum of 15 feet from the property line.
  • The fire shall not be conducted within 25 feet of any structure or combustible material.
  • Portable outdoor fireplaces shall be listed for their purpose and not be operated within 15 feet of any structure or combustible material.
  • The fire shall not be conducted if the wind speed exceeds 10 MPH.
  • No flammable or combustible liquids are allowed (even for lighting).
  • The fire must be constantly attended by a person age 18 or older.
  • A means of extinguishing the fire (garden hose) must be readily available.


It is the responsibility of the person lighting the fire to check and confirm that no burning restrictions or burning bans are in place.


Be A Good Neighbor

Before lighting the fire, check the wind speed and direction. If smoke from your fire blows towards a nearby home, be a good neighbor and check with them before lighting the fire. Often times this prevents unnecessary calls to the fire department regarding smoke.


Don’t Wait or Hesitate!

If your recreational fire gets out of control, don’t wait or hesitate. Call 911 immediately!

Current conditions can be found on the MN DNR website.
When starting or tending a fire, regardless of the size, consider the conditions.  Is it too windy to burn? Is it too dry to burn? Fires must be attended at all times and extinguished at the end of the day.  Smoldering fires are illegal (statute 88.171 (10)).  Leaf pile fires are not recreational fires.  Visit the  Minnesota Revisor of State Statutes for more information related to fire related statutes.

For more information or questions, please contact the Lake Elmo Fire Department during normal business hours at (651) 747-3930 or at