Portable Outdoor Fireplaces

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Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone and/or Wildland Urban Interface Area

For City of Santee residents living within a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ) and/or Wildland Urban Interface Area [See Map], portable outdoor fireplaces or other wood-burning appliances shall be strictly prohibited.  Per City of Santee Ordinance 500, Reference Section 4908 (Special Fire Protection Requirements), Article 4908.2 “Outdoor Fireplaces, Barbeques and Grills":

 

"4908.2 Outdoor Fireplaces, Barbeques, and Grills. Outdoor fireplaces, barbeques, and grills shall not be built or installed in Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones and/or Wildland Urban Interface Areas without plan approval by the fire code official.  Portable outdoor fireplaces or other wood-burning appliances shall be strictly prohibited within Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones and/or Wildland Urban Interface Areas."

Non-Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone

For City of Santee residents living in a NON-Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone information, for the allowance of portable outdoor fireplaces, the following Fire Codes apply:

 

Per City of Santee Ordinance 500, the California Fire Code, 2010 Edition, is amended and changed in the following respects: Chapter 3 Amended—General Precautions Against Fire, Section 307.4.3 is hereby amended and adding subsections 307.4.3.1 through 307.4.3.9 to read as follows:

 

307.4.3. Portable outdoor fireplaces. Portable outdoor fireplaces shall comply with all the following restrictions:

307.4.3.1  Portable outdoor fireplaces shall be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.  The use of washing machine tub fireplaces and other similar devices is prohibited within Santee City limits.

307.4.3.2  Portable outdoor fireplaces shall be constructed of steel or other approved non-combustible materials.

307.4.3.3  During operation, the portable outdoor fireplace shall be covered with a metal screen or welded or woven wire mesh spark arrestor with openings no larger than ¼” to reduce airborne embers.

307.4.3.4  Portable outdoor fireplaces shall only be used on a non-combustible surface or bare ground, void of all vegetation.

307.4.3.5  Portable outdoor fireplaces shall be operated at least 15 feet away from all combustible materials or structures and shall not be used under eaves, patio covers or other shade structures.

307.4.3.6  Portable outdoor fireplaces shall be supervised at all times and extinguished when no longer being used.

307.4.3.7  A garden hose or 4A fire extinguisher shall be readily available at all times when the outdoor portable fireplace is in operation.

307.4.3.8  The burning of trash, rubbish or paper products is strictly prohibited.

307.4.3.9  The fire code official or other fire department representative is authorized to order extinguishment at any time because of misuse, objectionable situation, hazardous weather or any other safety concern.

Firepit Proximity to Structure & Vegetation

You must have a means on hand to extinguish the fire at all times!

You cannot burn:

  • Treated or painted lumber
  • Lumber products containing glue or resin
  • Wet or unseasoned wood
  • Leaves, brush or yard waste
  • Garbage
  • Rubber, tires or plastic
  • Cardboard or paper in excess of what is needed to start the wood burning
  • Animal carcasses or parts

Be conscientious and respectful of others when burning in a portable outdoor fireplace.  Smoke from firepits can cause adverse health effects in some people.

Fire Bans

The Fire Chief has the authority to declare a complete ban on all burning within the city.  The fire department, law enforcement or an agent of either department may ask you to extinguish your fire when a “fire ban” is in effect or if you are not complying with the regulations listed above.