TIPS: How to use a fire pit safely

Posted at 5:50 PM, Feb 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-29 19:30:35-05

With the recent dry and windy weather, people need to keep an eye on fire pits.

Recent weather conditions

We have been rather dry since the first of January. We have seen just a little over an inch of rain.  

We have had five days with highs in the 70s since Feb. 18 with little to no precipitation. We have had several days with winds gusting over 30 mph and a couple of days with winds gusting over 40 mph. The humidity has been 20-40 percent for many of these days.

This has dried out the topsoil and the grass and brush on top. These weather conditions are the perfect recipe for high fire danger.

Since the weather is nice, it is no surprise that many people want to grill and use their fire pits. This is not such a great idea as any embers that get loose and end up on the dry brush/grass on a windy day can ignite a fire that spreads quickly.

Advice for using a fire pit

We went to Fire District Number 2 in northeast Johnson County and talked with Fire Marshal Todd Kerkhoff. He has four main pieces of advice if you are planning to use the fire pit, whether it is wet or dry.

1.   You want to make sure the pit is constantly attended.

2.   You never want to leave your fire pit burning while you go back inside.

3.   You always want to have a way of extinguishing the fire.

4.   If somebody calls to complain about the smoke, you are probably going to be obligated extinguish the fire.

We really need some rain, and there is the chance of a more substantial rain event March 7-10.

Click here to view the full weather forecast. 


Jeff Penner can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter

Connect on Facebook