Wood smoke: Outdoor fires

Residential recreational fires and other outdoor wood fires are regulated in Minnesota by state and local regulations, not by federal regulations.

How the state of Minnesota regulates outdoor fires

Recreational fires (backyard fires)

Minnesota's state fire code sets minimum requirements for outdoor recreational fires and portable fireplaces statewide which include being constantly attended. Treated lumber materials, construction debris, garbage, plastic materials, or waste materials are not allowed to be burned in recreational fires.

Open burning

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regulates open burning to minimize the risk of wildfires (Minn. Stat. Chapter 88, the Wildfire Act). The open burning regulations include prohibitions of open burning of defined waste materials or smoldering fires (Minn. R. 88.171). The open burning regulations have permit requirements for prescribed fires and burn piles.

The DNR does not require permits for recreational campfires.

Local governments can set more stringent regulations about backyard recreational fires.  For example, they might restrict recreational fires on air quality alert days, restrict times of the day when they are allowed, and require permits for these campfires. Please check with your local government to learn whether there are restrictions in your neighborhood.

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