Recreational Fire Guidelines

Fire Department Fire Guidelines
The La Mesa Fire Department Fire Prevention office receives many calls regarding the use of recreational fires. Recreational fires are permitted within the following guidelines.

  • Must be located 25 feet from a structure or combustible material (fences, low hanging trees, etc.)
  • Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet of a structure shall be removed
  • Must be on the resident's property, not allowed on or near the sidewalk, or in the public right of way
  • Must be in an approved container (see below)

Fire Extinguishing Equipment

  • A fire extinguisher (minimum of 4A rating), garden hose, or shovel shall be readily available for use

  • The fire shall be attended by an adult at all times
  • The adult shall be knowledgeable in the use of fire extinguishing equipment
  • The attendant shall supervise the fire until it has been extinguished

Approved Containers
  • Generally, fire pits, and chimneas purchased from stores are acceptable
  • No washing machine tubs, open topped BBQ style, or in-ground pits

  • Metal, ceramic, brick, etc. (non-combustible)
  • Must have a solid top and bottom with legs to keep it off the ground
  • Spark arrester must be constructed of iron, heavy wire mesh, or other non-combustible material with openings not larger than 1/2 inches
  • Spark arrester or screen required on the top and/or sides

Allowed Fuels
  • Clean wood or Presto type logs
  • Fuel must be completely contained within the fire pit, chimnea, etc.
  • Fuel is not allowed to stick out of the top, rest on the edge (from side to side), etc.

Illegal Fuels
  • Trash
  • Painted, stained, and/or treated wood
  • Tree and/or brush trimmings
  • Newspapers

The Fire Department is authorized to immediately shut down recreational fires if the fires are determined to constitute a hazardous condition.