Backyard Fireplaces

City of Great Falls Montana


The Fire Department receives numerous questions regarding the use of backyard fireplaces/firepits in the City limits.  The fireplaces may be found at local hardware stores and are typically constructed of metal or ceramic material.  The Fire Marshal has allowed the use of these fireplaces under the following circumstances:

  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Fire shall be attended at all times.
  • Must have an extinguishing source within 10 feet.
  • Must be a commercial type backyard or outdoor fireplace with a spark arrestor in place.
  • Gas fireplaces are allowed as long as the shutoff is remote from the unit.
  • Fireplaces shall not be located within 15 feet of combustible walls, roofs or other combustible materials, building openings or property lines.
  • Only the use firewood or charcoal is permitted.  No burning of rubbish, dimensional lumber (2x4's), yard debris or vegetation.
  • No homemade fireplaces are allowed.
  • Notify your insurance company of your intent to use a backyard or outdoor fireplace.
  • The use may be subject to immediate discontinuance if it creates a nuisance which is defined as:  Anything which is injurious to health, or is indecent or offensive to the senses, or is an obstruction to the free use of another's property, so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of like or property of another.