Recreational Fires and Barbecues

A group of teenagers roasting marshmallows over a contained background fire

Recreational Fires and Barbecues


1. OPEN BURNING. (Open burning is not allowed or permitted within Salt Lake City https://firemarshal.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2015/02/Local-Fire-Ordinances-Salt-Lake-City.pdf) The burning of materials wherein products of combustion are emitted directly into the ambient air without passing through a stack or chimney from an enclosed chamber. Open burning does not include road flares, smudgepots and similar devices associated with safety or occupational uses typically considered open flames or recreational fires. For the purpose of this definition, a chamber shall be regarded as enclosed when, during the time combustion occurs, only apertures, ducts, stacks, flues or chimneys necessary to provide combustion air and permit the escape of exhaust gas are open.

2 RECREATIONAL FIRE. An outdoor fire burning materials other than rubbish where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, barbeque grill or barbeque pit and has a total fuel area of 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes. (Permit not required)

Recreational Fires (2021 IFC 307.4.2)

Recreational fires will have a method of sufficient extinguishment readily available at all times.

Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material. Conditions that could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.

Portable outdoor fireplace (2021 IFC 307.4.3)

Portable outdoor fireplaces shall be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and shall not be operated within 15feet of a structure or combustible material.

Open flame cooking devices (2021 IFC 308.1.4)

Charcoal burners and other open flame cooking devices shall not be operated on combustible balconies or within 10 feet of combustible construction.


1. One and two family dwellings

2. Where buildings, balconies and decks are protected by an automatic sprinkler system

3. LLP-gas cooking devices having LP-gas container with a water capacity not greater than 2 ½ pounds

4. Any recreational fire or open flame cooking may be considered a “Nuisance Fire” regardless of whether it is done within fire code or not as soon as it is reported by any person for any reason (smoke coming into a neighbor’s open window, a safety concern, etc.). This reporting is typically done through the fire department’s non-emergent contact number. If a fire response crew is dispatched to the fire’s location they will make a decision or recommendations based on their findings, and they have the authority to require extinguishment. Please contact Salt Lake City Fire Dispatch Non-Emergency at 801-799-3000 option # 7.