International Fire Code 2006 Section 302
Bonfire: An outdoor fire utilized for ceremonial purposes.
Open Burning: The burning of materials wherein products of combustion are emitted directly into the ambient air without passing through a stack or chimney from an enclosed chamber. Open burning does not include road flares, smudge pots and similar devices associated with safety or occupational uses typically considered open flames or recreational fires. For the purpose of this definition, a chamber shall be regarded as enclosed when, during the time combustion occurs, only apertures, ducts, stacks, flues or chimneys necessary to provide combustion air and permit the escape of exhaust gas are open.
Recreational Fire: An outdoor fire burning materials other than rubbish where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, barbeque grill or barbeque pit and has a total fuel area of 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes.
IFC 2006 Section 307
Permit required: A permit shall be obtained from the fire code official in accordance with Section 105.6 prior to kindling a fire for recognized cilviculture or range or wildlife management practices, prevention or control of disease or pests, or a bonfire. Application for such approval shall only be presented by and permits issued to the owner of the land upon which the fire is to be kindled.
Prohibited open burning: Open burning that will be offensive or objectionable because of smoke or odor emissions when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous shall be prohibited. The fire code official is authorized to order the extinguishment by permit holder or the fire department of open burning, which creates or adds to a hazardous or objectionable situation.
Location: The location for open burning shall not be less than 50 feet from any structure, and provisions shall be made to prevent the fire from spreading to within 50 feet of any structure.
1. Fires in approved containers that are not less than 15 feet from a structure.
2. The minimum required distance from a structure shall be 25 feet where the pile size is 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height.
Bonfires: A bonfire shall not be conducted within 50 feet of a structure or combustible material unless the fire is contained in a barbeque pit. Conditions, which could cause a fire to spread within 50 feet of a structure, shall be eliminated prior to ignition.
Recreational fires: Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material. Conditions, which could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet of a structure, shall be eliminated prior to ignition.
Attendance: Open burning, bonfires or recreational fires shall be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished. A minimum of one portable fire extinguisher complying with Section 906 with a minimum 4-A rating or other approved on-site fire extinguishing equipment, such as dirt, sand, water barrel, garden hose or water truck, shall be available for immediate utilization.
Michigan Law: State law prohibits open burning within 1400 feet of an incorporated city.