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Posted on: June 1, 2023

Outdoor fires in City of Idaho Falls limits

Recreational Fire

Outdoor fires are a common response for the Idaho Falls Fire Department during the spring and summer months. While recreational fires are permitted inside city limits when conditions warrant and requirements are met, a permit is required for bonfires and irrigation/weed control.  

It is illegal to burn leaves, trash or construction debris and yard cleanup inside city limits. Burn barrels are strictly prohibited. There are no permits issued for this type of burning. All Idaho Falls Fire Department officials are authorized to order an individual to extinguish any open burning that creates or adds to a hazardous or objectionable situation. 

When IFFD encounters burning of trash and other debris inside city limits, firefighters will extinguish the fire and educate the property owner. If a citizen is doing everything in accordance with the fire code but their fire is producing a significant smoke hazard from wet or unclean burning wood, the fire may be extinguished at the discretion of the responding fire official.


  1. While it is legal to have open outdoor recreational fires such as fire pits inside city limits when weather conditions and air quality permits doing so, the fires must meet the following specific requirements: 
    1. Outdoor recreational fires must not have a total fuel area greater than 3 feet in diameter and no more than 2 feet in height. They can only be used for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes.    
    2. Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material.  Conditions that could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.  Recreational fires in approved portable outdoor fireplaces shall not be conducted within 15 feet of a structure or combustible material.  
    3. Fires shall be constantly attended to until the fire is extinguished.  A minimum of one portable fire extinguisher with a minimum of 4-A rating or other method of extinguishing a fire shall be available for immediate utilization.


Bonfires and irrigation/weed control fires are only permissible with a Fire Code Operational Permit issued by Idaho Falls Fire Prevention at (208) 612-8497 or [email protected].  

Bonfires are defined as a fire that is greater than 3 feet in diameter and more than 2 feet in height.  Irrigation and weed control fires are defined as limited fires to maintain irrigation ditches or control weeds. These fires are sometimes permitted where other means are impractical and fire poses little to no nuisance. 


Illegal fires inside city limits include but are not limited to: 

Lawn clippingsTar or tar paperTelephone poles
Hazardous materialsRailroad tiesRubber materials
Construction wasteOil and greaseDead animals
Demolition/salvageHousehold wasteAsphalt materials
DebrisTiresPreservative-treated wood
Junk motor vehiclesPlasticsPathogenic waste
Commercial wastePaintsInsulated wire
Industrial wastePetroleum products

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