Your cart (0)
Skip to content

Can You Burn Leaves in a Fire Pit?

An outdoor fire is probably the most soothing aroma during fall. Burning leaves add to the ambiance. But sometimes, it's not about that. As fall approaches, hoards of leaves fill your yard, making it look like a mess. You start raking them up, but the process is long and tiresome. Every day, you get your rake out. The next day, the yard is filled again. ...

Can You Burn Leaves in a Fire Pit?

An outdoor fire is probably the most soothing aroma during fall. Burning leaves add to the ambiance.

But sometimes, it's not about that. As fall approaches, hoards of leaves fill your yard, making it look like a mess. You start raking them up, but the process is long and tiresome. Every day, you get your rake out. The next day, the yard is filled again. 

So you wonder if you can just burn them in your fire pit and get done with it. The short answer is yes. You can burn leaves in a fire pit. 

Let's guide you through the long answer. 

Is It Legal to Burn Leaves in a Fire Pit? 

Burning leaves is something you might've seen in classic movies, and it's still prominent in rural areas. But you must understand that nowadays, not all places allow leaf burning. 

You should check your municipality's laws before lighting up a fire. Some places have specific restrictions regarding burning leaves, such as time frames or permits. In others, open fires are a no-no. 

Health Risk of Burning Leaves in a Fire Pit 

If something is illegal, even if it's in just certain places, there's most likely a risk associated with it. The same is true for burning leaves. 

Burning leaves result in the release of certain irritants and chemicals. That can be a problem for people with respiratory issues, such as asthma or allergies. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) says burning leaves releases many cancer-causing compounds into the air. Even worse, leaf smoke contains carbon monoxide. 

Leaf smoke is made of tiny particles, which we call particulate matter. These microscopic particles, if inhaled, can enter the lungs and reside there for months, if not years. The more you inhale, the more likely you are to experience lung impairment. 

Safety Tips for Burning Leaves 

If you plan to take this route to leaf disposal, it's best to be familiar with some precautions. 

  • Check the Weather: Do not burn leaves on a windy day. The last thing you want is to have the fire get out of your control. Also, avoid burning leaves when there has been a prolonged dry period or if there is a drought warning in effect. 
  • Notify Your Neighbors: It's common courtesy and social responsibility to inform your neighbors before burning leaves, especially if you have young children or the elderly living nearby. Notifying them beforehand will also save you from the possibility of complaints and legal issues. 
  • Move the Fire Pit: It's best to burn leaves in a portable fire pit. That way, you can move the fire pit to the most ideal location. By ''ideal,'' we mean away from the house, other structures (such as sheds and fences), and areas where people will be walking. 
  • Don't Leave Unattended: It doesn't matter how small the fire is; never leave it unattended. Keeping an eye on the fire pit is especially mandatory if you have little ones roaming around. 
  • Burn Dry Leaves: Do not burn wet leaves. They smolder and produce more smoke than dry leaves do. 

Always keep a hose or a fire extinguisher close by. You never know when an emergency might strike. Trust us; you don't want to be unprepared in such a situation. 

Which Type of Fire Pit Is Best for Burning Leaves? 

Be it gas, wood, gel, or propane, you can use any fire pit to burn leaves. Just don't make one mistake: putting the whole heap of leaves in the fire pit at once. 

We understand the impatience and temptation to do so, considering how tedious it can be to burn leaves. But doing this will only increase your workload. 

The more leaves you add at once, the less air space there will be in the heap. As a result, the fire will suffocate quickly. Instead, add a few leaves at a time and allow the fire to burn them before adding more. 

The way each fire pit burns will be somewhat different. For example, gas doesn't burn as hot as wood. So, you might have to keep the leaves on a gas fire for longer than you would on wood. 

If you have one of those fire pits with a cooking grill on top, don't burn leaves in it. The ash and debris may stick to the grill, giving the food you cook later a burnt flavor. 

Consider Your Surroundings

Burning leaves is a handy way to dispose of them. But it's not the only way. For example, if you have a yard full of leaves, you can mulch them. Then, use mulched leaves around flower beds and trees to retain moisture and control weed growth. 

If burning leaves is illegal in your area, or you don't want to take the risk, you can always opt for alternate ways.

Other Articles You May Like