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Recreation Fires on Residential Properties

It should be noted that State has different rules principally based upon the size of your fire pit as detailed below. Following these State requirements will help to ensure the safety of you and your neighbors.

• A bonfire (defined as a fire no greater in size than 5’ by 5’) cannot be conducted within 50 feet of a combustible structure (unless in a barbeque pit or other approved container); 
• A bonfire cannot be larger than 5’ by 5’ in size and all bon fires not in a barbeque pit or other approved container require a permit from the State of NJ;
• A recreational fire (defined as a fire no greater in size than 2’ by 3’) cannot be conducted within 25 feet of a combustible structure (unless in a barbeque pit of other approved container);
• In a barbeque pit or other approved container, a bonfire or recreational fire cannot be conducted within 15 feet of a combustible structure;
• Only wood and small quantities of paper may be used as fuel for a bonfire or recreational fire;
• The fire shall not be used for waste disposal purposes;
• A bonfire or recreational fire cannot burn for more than 3 consecutive hours. This duration may be extended with advance approval of the local fire official; and
• A bonfire or recreational fire must be attended at all times until the fire is fully extinguished.

Finally, when having a fire, property owners are requested to be mindful and respectful of neighboring property owners. If large quantities of smoke from the fire are billowing towards a neighboring property or structure, you should discontinue the fire. If the local Police Department or Fire Official are requested to respond and your fire is creating a nuisance, you may be asked to extinguish your fire.