Residents must ensure proper safety precautions and regulations are followed and consideration is given to nearby properties when burning an open-air fire in your yard.
- All backyard fire pits, portable or not, require a Fire Pit Permit Application for installation and use from the City of Medicine Hat. Permit applications are also available at Fire Station #2, located at 1303 Trans Canada Way SE.
- A gas line locate must be completed and included with your application to receive your Fire Pit Permit. Instructions on how to obtain this are in Fire Pit Permit Application Form.
- The fire container must be made from non-combustible material, including cement, brick or metal.
- Burn only clean, dry, cut wood.
- Fire pits must be at least 18 inches in height and cannot have an inside diameter wider than 36 inches.
- The following items are not permitted to be burned in your backyard: garbage, garden/yard waste, plastic, manure, livestock or animal carcasses, and any material which produces dense, black smoke including insulation, electrical wiring or equipment, asphalt roofing materials, hydrocarbons, rubber materials, painted or creosoted wood.
- Consider using a cleaner burning alternative. Switch to a convenient natural gas or propane fire pit which burns clean and does not emit emissions.
- Air quality is everyone's concern. If a Special Air Quality Index statement has been issued due to wildfire smoke, please choose not to have an open-air fire in your backyard.
- Nuisance smoke from outdoor fires can negatively affect the health of some people. Respectfully communicate with neighbors around you who may be adversely affected by open-air fires in the neighborhood. Consider letting your neighbor know when you plan on having an outdoor fire in your backyard, they may appreciate being notified in advance.
- Any fire pit must be at least 3 meters away from combustible structures, such as buildings, fences, and trees. A greater distance must be considered if there are overhanging soffits or low hanging branches nearby. Measure the 3 meter distance starting from the edge of any overhanging object.
- A fire pit should not be located on or near your gas line, as noted by your gas line locate. The result could lead to a serious safety hazard or explosion, requiring emergency services assistance and a costly repair bill.
- Cover your fire with a protective mesh spark screen that has openings no larger than 13 mm (1/2 inch).
- Check the weather, and consider wind speed. Outdoor fires should not be built when the wind is greater than 15 km/h.
- Supervise your fire at all times, and have water nearby to help extinguish the fire completely when you're finished.
Fire Services thanks residents for their cooperation. Together, we can make sure everyone enjoys the outdoors, safely.