Campfires – Bonfires – Fire Pits – Chimineas & Other Similar Devices

Town of Somers
Open Burning Guidelines
Campfires – Bonfires – Fire Pits – Chimineas – Other Similar Devices

Having an open fire is often a key and enjoyable part of appreciating the outdoors, or a cool fall evening. The smell of wood smoke and the pop and hiss of burning wood in a campfire brightens any night out in the backyard or woods.
However, you want to make sure you control your fire, and not the other way around.
Know the fire conditions! Has it been dry and windy lately? This may mean that having a fire may be an unsafe option.

Safety First

Before starting your fire, take a look around and make sure you’re at least 15 feet away from buildings, any flammable objects, and upwind of the fire.

Once a good location is selected for you fire, collect only clean non-processed wood. NO wood pallets, construction debris, painted wood, stained/treated wood, or garbage can be burned in a campfire/bonfire, fire pit, chiminea or other similar device.
• Non-Processed wood is considered to be any untreated, natural wood up to and including rough cut lumber.
• Processed wood is considered wood that has been milled and/or planed and includes recycled wood, glued wood, treated wood, pallets, crates, and/or wood scraps from these types of materials.

There are many ways to arrange your firewood before you start burning. Fire needs air to grow, so don’t just stack your wood in a dense pile. One way to start is by laying larger pieces of wood in a cross-hatch pattern, making a small tower. Then, place plenty of kindling and fire starter in the gaps between the wood.
Never use flammable liquids or mixtures to start your fire.
Use a match or lighter on your fire starter to ignite it, it should then catch your kindling on fire, which should eventually catch your larger pieces of wood on fire.
Keep your fires burning with plenty of dry wood. Wet wood will burn slower, however it will generate significantly more smoke. Keep your stacked wood upwind of your fire.

Keep the fire small so it says under control.
Large enough to toast marshmallows, not hands

Watch Children and Pets around the fires.
Keep an eye on young children and pets; they may not be cautious about running near it
Always remember Stop-Drop-Roll if your clothes catch on fire.


Putting out your fire
Be sure to use plenty of water to extinguish and completely cool the coals.

• Burning MUST occur on RESIDENTAL property
• Burning must not take place where a hazardous health condition might be created
• Burning must not take place when the Forest Fire Danger Level is identified by DEEP as High, Very High, or Extreme.
• Burning must cease if so directed by any member of the Town of Somers Fire Marshal’s Office, Officer of the Fire Department, designated Municipal Official responsible for enforcing the open burning laws and ordinances, or any official of the Health Department or DEEP.

Failure to adhere to these conditions may result in penalties and or/ enforcement action. Unauthorized burning is a crime pursuant to Chapter 952 Penal Code: Offences Sec.a-114. Reckless Burning: Class D felony. Please contact this office should you have any questions. Always be considerate of your neighbors and the level of smoke generated by your fire.

Please CONTACT 911 IMMEDIATELY if your fire gets out of control.