Who doesn’t enjoy a good backyard fire pit on a cool evening? The Iowa City Fire Department has tips on how you can enjoy the outdoors with your own fire pit safely and legally. 

Iowa City fire pit regulations 

  1. Fire pits must be a specific measurement.
    • Fire pits must be at least four inches in depth and must be surrounded on the outside, above ground, by a non-combustible material.
    • They cannot exceed three feet in diameter. The pile of wood for the fire must not exceed two feet in height.
  2. Make sure you are only burning natural firewood or commercial logs in your fire pit. 
    • Remember: burning lumber, pallets, scrap wood, tree trimmings, leaves, yard waste, paper, cardboard, garbage, and similar items is not permitted in Iowa City.
  3. The fire must be constantly attended and supervised until the fire has been completely extinguished.
    • Fire pits are able to run from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. 
    • A portable fire extinguisher or other approved extinguishing equipment, such as a garden hose, must be readily available.
  4. If you see someone breaking City open burn ordinances...
    • A simple reminder to your neighbors of the City's fire pit regulations can potentially save emergency personnel a trip.  
    • To place a report with public safety, call the Joint Emergency Communication Center (JECC) at 319-356-6800. 

For more information about open burns and fire pits in Iowa City, visit our website

Date of publication

Thursday, September 24, 2020