San Diego Fire Pit Laws to Know Before You Go

You’re ready to hit up the beach and enjoy an evening bonfire with friends, but first you want to make sure you know the San Diego fire pit laws. You’ve come to the right place! Following these regulations is important for both your safety and that of others. Here’s a summary of the San Diego fire pit regulations so you can enjoy a safe and legal beach bonfire.

San Diego Fire Pit in Ocean Beach

One of 16 pits are available for fires at Ocean Beach.

In case you missed it: 6 Best San Diego Beaches with Fire Pits

San Diego Fire Pit Laws to Know Before You Go:

  • Use only designated fire pits. San Diego fire pit regulations prohibit the use of portable fire pits on beaches. Beach fires outside of designated containers are also strictly forbidden. The debris from such illegal fires can cause serious injury to beachgoers, children especially digging in the sand.
  • Fire pits are first come, first serve. If all the approved fire pits are taken, try another beach or save the bonfire for another day! Here are six of the best San Diego beaches with fire pits.
  • Use approved fuel only. At most beaches, you can burn wood, charcoal, or paper products only, though some beaches have additional fuel restrictions. San Diego fire pit regulations prohibit the burning of trash at any location.
  • Follow fire height restrictions. Don’t expect your beach bonfire to be gigantic—San Diego fire pit laws dictate that the fuel source can’t be any higher than a foot above the top rim of the fire pit.
  • Fire must be attended at all times. For safety reasons, an adult must always be present to attend to the fire. Ensure there is sand, water, or a fire extinguisher readily available to extinguish the fire should it become immediately necessary.
  • Extinguish the fire before leaving. Never leave your fire smoldering in the fire pit—San Diego fire pit laws require you to take your coals with your or put them in designated container for hot coals. Simply burying the coals in sand only insulates the heat and creates a safety hazard for the next people who use the fire pit.
  • No fires between 12:00-5:00am. You can start your day with a sunrise bonfire and end with a sunset bonfire but be sure to snuff everything out between midnight and 5:00am.
  • Large groups require a permit. If you’re planning an epic bonfire gathering with 50 or more people, San Diego fire pit laws require you to apply for a special permit. The same goes for certain get-togethers regardless of size, such as weddings, water events, and any party that involves setting up special equipment.

Other San Diego Beach Regulations to Know

These San Diego fire pit laws were compiled from the city’s government website, namely these two pages on recreational fires and beach amenities and regulations. Please note that none of the information in this article is intended to serve as legal advice. Contact a lawyer in the event that you face legal consequences for breaking these regulations.

Want to keep the party going back home? Browse our selection of fire pits for your home patio. We’ve also got a great collection of patio furniture to help you create an idyllic backyard escape.

More Tips for San Diegans:

  1. 6 of the Best San Diego Beaches with Fire Pits
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  3. 9 Easy Tips to Make Your Patio Eco-Friendly