Having drinks with friends and family around a fire is one of my favorite things to do. I was actually planning a get together to do just that this weekend but Mother Nature has decided to dump some more snow on us so that won't be happening.

If you're planning on having backyard fires this summer, the city of Rochester offers these tips to keep yourself and your property safe:

  • Keep it small - less than 3 ft. diameter is the rule
  • Best location - 25 ft. away from any house
  • Using a grill or barbeque pit - it can be 15 ft. from any house
  • Have water on hand - in case the fire gets out of hand, have a bucket with water handy to douse wandering flames
  • When you're gone, put it out - unattended fires are dangerous

Recreational fires are allowed in Rochester but the burning of leaves, sticks, and tree branches is not allowed - unless you get a permit. If you want to do that you should contact the Rochester Fire Department at (507) 328-2800.