What is a recreational fire?
A recreational fire is defined as an outdoor fire burning materials other than rubbish where the fuel being burned is contained in an appropriate approved appliance, permanent barbecue, portable barbecue, outdoor fireplace, fire pit, incinerator, or grill 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 (WUI A104.7.1, DCC 8.12.040 and IFC 302). The manufacturer’s instructions on appliances should be carefully read and adhered to.
Wood burning open fire pits shall not be conducted within 30 feet of a structure or combustible material. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 30 feet of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition. (IFC 307.4.2 and WUI A104.7.1)
RECREATIONAL FIRES IN THE FIRE DISTRICT
The Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District (TDFPD) has adopted the following fire codes: International Fire Code (IFC) 2012 ed., Douglas County Code, and Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Code as adopted by Nevada Statute. These codes do allow for recreational fires complying with specific stipulations and precautions.
- Recreational fires shall be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished.
- A minimum of one (1) portable fire extinguisher complying with section 906 (of the IFC) with a minimum 4A rating; or other approved on-site fire extinguishing equipment, such as dirt, sand, water barrel, garden hose or water truck shall be available for immediate utilization.
- Also recommended that fire pits be covered with a ¼ inch maximum screen to contain floating hot embers.
- You will be held responsible for the suppression costs of an escaped fire.
Recreational fires are prohibited during RED FLAG WARNINGS when high winds or high fire danger conditions exist. TDFPD personnel carefully review weather conditions - temperature, wind and humidity – and adjust daily work assignments and staffing levels based on risk factors. The public will be asked to curtail fire use and high risk activities during these periods.
Douglas County - Code does not require pre-approval or a permit for recreational fires complying with the above definition and stipulations.
State and Federal Lands - Recreational fires, on state and federal lands, are regulated by the respective land management agency including USFS camps, resorts and beaches.
Permits are required for open fires, such as campfires, barbecues, and portable stoves on federally controlled lands. ONLY propane barbecues and fire pits are allowed on beaches with a permit. Any other restrictions or permitting requirements will be prominently posted on the state and federal website for the recreational site.
To obtain a Lake Tahoe Basin campfire permit.
TDFPD has jurisdictional authority to enforce fire codes first, from the Nevada State Fire Marshal and then, from Douglas County.
TDFPD personnel are authorized and have extinguishing authority in circumstances where hazardous situations and reckless conditions/actions could result in the ignition or spread of fire (IFC 307.3, WUI A104.9 and DCC).
Private Property - This authority extends to all fires within the fire district’s boundaries including private property.