How much fun is it to cozy up by a campfire and make s'mores with the kids? How about doing it in your own backyard? Can you do that in Connecticut? That question came to mind, mainly during the height of the pandemic when no one went anywhere and some people converted their backyards into their own personal ecosystem.

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According to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's website, campfires in your yard are prohibited if it creates a nuisance for neighbors or violates your local laws. So, you're saying there's a chance? Sort of, some towns have requirements or make you obtain a permit if you want to have a campfire on your property, plus it wouldn't be a bad idea to get the neighbors "OK" or invite them to the party. Requirements can range from the size of the fire to how close it is to the property line and what type of wood you can actually burn, so make sure you check.

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Having a campfire or chimenea in your backyard is much different than "Open Burning" on your property. We again turn to the D.E.E.P.'s website, and before you do any kind of burning, you need to check with your "Open Burning Official" within your town or county to obtain a permit. Here is the listing of open burning restrictions directly from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection on CT.gov...

Open Burning Restrictions

Residents looking to burn must have a valid and signed permit from their local Open Burning Official. Cities and towns looking to burn brush at their DEEP permitted landfill, transfer station, or recycling center must have a valid and signed open burning permit from DEEP.

Open burning is not allowed:

  • to clear land prior to construction activities

  • as a means to dispose of construction debris, household trash, or leaves.

  • if the Air Quality Index (AQI) is forecasted to be 100 or higher anywhere in the state

  • if the Forest Fire Danger Index is rated HighVery High, or Extreme

  • if national or state ambient air quality standards may be exceeded

  • if a hazardous health condition might be created

  • if there is an advisory from DEEP of any air pollution episode

  • where prohibited by an ordinance of the municipality

  • if directed by any member of the town 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

Be safe out there and follow all your local laws and restrictions.

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