Incorporating bonfires in your outside sanctuary

By Kiera Baity
Kiera Baity
Kiera Baity
June 5, 2021 Updated: June 5, 2021

Tips and suggestions on creating the best fire space in your garden for both rural and urban settings, and what you need to know about certain recreational fire laws.

Epoch Times Photo
Gather around sparks of euphoria. (Elizabeth Boisvert/Unsplash)

Something about those orange, yellow, and red flames fanning themselves into a fluster of fiery embers, flowing off into other areas of the night, or day, really creates a sense of comfort. The same way a hot shower makes you feel after a long twenty-four hours, heat just has a way of keeping things cozy.

Even with the summer creeping in, it’s never too hot to gather around a bonfire, share stories, make memories, and enhance any and every social or distant experience. Especially on the more cooler nights ahead.

Plus, the benefits of fire are needed now more than ever. Studies show that humans look at fire as a primal way to resolve conflict, reduce stress, and blood pressure. And considering the fact that we’re living in a pandemic, with additional crises every other month, incorporating an accessible bonfire sanctuary right in your own backyard, would provide an alleviating aesthetic at your convenience.

“But how to go about setting up a fire when you are living in an urban or rural neighborhood? Are there rules and regulations?”

It’s quite normal to have questions, comments, and concerns when it comes to designing with fire within the realms of your home. But trust, it’s 100% safe and sanctioned to subsume without having any skepticism.

Urban & Rural Neighborhood Stipulations

First off, when it comes to rural and urban areas, it’s important to note your states fire regulations. Some states have laws that may restrict the use of recreational fires if not related to religious use, BBQs, or any form of festival, and this can be even more restricted in the urban areas, while others jurisdictions might not have any restrictions. For instance:

In rural areas like Cobb County Georgia, they have a “Burning Ban” law that states it’s illegal to burn between the months of May 1st – September 30th, but allowed from October 1st – April 30th.  Or in places like the east coast, who are prone to wildfires, have fire pit laws where it’s legal to have a bonfire in your backyard as long as it’s in a pit vs. burning wood on the ground. But there are specifications when it comes to size, placement, and distance between the fire and the house/street.

On the other hand, in urban places like New York City, open fires are strictly prohibited, with limited exceptions – the fire has to be less than 4 feet in length, and 3 feet in height, which is tinier than a garden gnome.

So, as you can see, there are rules to follow when it comes to bonfires that cater to the wellbeing of the community. But there’s also opportunity to make it work without desensitizing the presence, power, and picture that an outside bonfire brings.

How to Design with Fire in Your Backyard

Rural Neighborhoods

When living in a house with a backyard that’s an average 8,560 square feet, and a decent distance from your neighbors, there are two ways to go about generating a bonfire gathering.

Epoch Times Photo
Garden friendly bonfire. ( the blowup/Unsplash)

For a fire Pit, Some of the most basic building materials such as:

• bricks
• pavers
• retaining wall blocks
• concrete

are some things you can use to manufacture a bonfire haven. DIY particulars include, flower pots, metal planters and even glass. Unused garden ponds would suffice as a bonfire placement as well. Because the reservoir is already rimmed with fire-resistant rocks, it only takes a coat of sand, a few more rocks, and firewood in between to get the party or wind down started.

Epoch Times Photo
An unfiltered bonfire in a natural setting. (Kiera Baity)

Lighting in Your Garden

First things first, it’s best to plan your bonfires ahead as a common courtesy to your neighbors when setting fire in your garden. It’s legal to do at any time of day, but early mornings and late evenings are preferable times.

Make a circle of any size with rocks, to isolate a patch of grass that will become the home for your bonfire. Avoid burning things like rubber, oil, straw, hay, plastic, and wet or green matter. Instead, using palettes and tree wood will give those crackling flames, while maintaining a stable and controlled blaze.

Urban Neighborhoods

Living in the city, apartment, loft, or studio style, doesn’t leave that much room for a full-blown fire display. That’s why “City Fires”, has portable mini-bonfires that you can re-use on all your balcony adventures. It’s environmentally friendly, made with eco-friendly charcoal and recyclable steel tins, and low-maintenance when it comes to emerging and extinguishing the fire by simply covering the lid.

To make up for last year, let’s make this summer a sizzling one to remember!


I’m [Kiera Baity] a 26-year-old graduate student pursuing my Masters in Professional Writing with a focus in Creative Writing. I write fiction, non-fiction, songs, poetry, news, blogs, social media content, and articles (just to name a few). I also hike, roller skate, and paint on the side for inspiration. What makes my writing unique is the way I mx my prose language with the facts. Ultimately producing content that both informs and intrigues.

Kiera Baity
Kiera Baity