Backyard firepits are a popular accessory with many homes in the City of Calgary, especially in the summer months. Others, find them to be a nuisance, such as persons with respiratory illnesses.
Firepits remain popular, and over 70% of respondents in a recent Calgary Herald poll were against a ban.
Firepits are legal in Calgary when a fire ban is not in effect, and if bylaw standards are observed, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. to midnight Monday to Friday, and between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
1. Backyard fire pits should be built into the ground, on brick or stone, or in a fire-proof container. Portable fire pits may be used on a deck as long as they sit on brick or stone, and not directly on your wooden deck.
2. Fire pits must be at least two metres away from your property line, house, garage, or fence.
3. Fire pits must NOT be under any trees, branches, plants or other materials that can catch fire.
4. All fires in your fire pit must be kept to a reasonable size; 1 metre high and wide. A mesh screen or ‘spark guard’ is now required in order to reduce the spread of embers and sparks from wood-burning fire pits. The openings in the mesh screen must not be greater than 1.24 cm across.
5. Only burn clean, dry firewood. Do NOT burn:
o Wood that is painted, treated or contains glue or resin
o Wood from a different location, region or province
o Wet or green/fresh cut wood
o Yard waste (cut grass or leaves)
o Rubber or plastic
6. Always have a way to put out the fire close to your fire pit. Easy options are your watering hose or a bucket of water.
7. All fires in your fire pit must be continually supervised.
Bylaws related to smoke: citizens should not engage in any activity that is likely to allow smoke, dust or other airborne matter, which may disturb any other person, to escape a premises without taking reasonable precautions.
Fines for violations of these regulations range between $100 and $500.
Call 311 to report a complaint about a backyard fire pit.
Call 9-1-1 to report an out of control fire in a fire pit.
Please contact us if you have any questions about Fire Pits in the City of Calgary.