It has been a difficult summer for all of us, and it is human nature to want to get out and socialize with family, friends, and neighbors to catch up on what is going on in each other’s lives. One of the better and more enjoyable ways to do that is sitting around an outside fire on a cool afternoon or evening with a warm (or cold) beverage. Increase that enjoyment by knowing you are doing all you can do to burn cleanly, safely, and responsibly for your family, neighbors, and community.
There are may things to consider when planning for an outdoor bonfire or fire pit gathering. Currently within the New Melle Fire Protection District we do not have any ordinances restricting fire pit use, but some Cities or Counties may have various limitations on use.
Make sure your fire pit is at least 10 feet from your home and three feet from any outdoor furniture or other combustibles. Fires can spread quickly with embers or radiant heat and may go unnoticed initially during outdoor activities.
Do not try to ignite you fire using chemicals such as gasoline, lighter fluid, or alcohol. The majority of fire pit accidents occur because of how the fire is built and ignited. A suggestion is to use a starter log to insure a safe and gradual start to the fire.
Only burn seasoned, dry wood, which burns hotter and cleaner. Never burn green wood, construction waste, plastic, garbage, or yard waste. They will create more smoke, some of which can be toxic.
Take extra care if you are in an area where brush fires are a concern. If you do not have a water source nearby, always have two gallons or more to be used for putting out your fire. If you do not have water, you can shovel dirt onto the fire to stifle it.
Never leave a fire unattended. When you are ready to extinguish your fire, you must make sure it is completely out. Wind can rekindle the embers and start a fire if it is not “dead out”. Drown the fire with water. Stir the remains to ensure that all burned material has been put out and cooled. If you must remove any ashes or debris, they must be placed in a metal or non-combustible container. Hot ashes placed in combustible waste containers is a common cause of structure fires.
If you have any questions or concerns, or just want to invite the Fire Chief to an outdoor fire gathering, please call the office at 636-828-5528 or visit our website www.newmellefire.org. Be Safe!