How to safely manage a burn pile on a construction site

Updated Sep 13, 2019

Safely Managing a Burn Pile on Construction Site

  • Check with local authorities. You may need a permit.
  • Wait for the right weather conditions. It should not be windy, and the area and vegetation should not be too dry.
  • The site must be flat and free from overhanging trees or vegetation and well away from vehicles, homes, powerlines or other structures.
  • Build the pile wider than it is tall to ensure stability. Put your large logs and stumps low in the pile so they can’t roll out as it burns down and shifts. But leave a pocket in the middle for kindling to get the fire started and pile up smaller limbs around the larger pieces so they generate enough heat to get the big pieces burning.
  • Encircle the pile with a shallow trench about 10 feet wide or scrape the vegetation down to bare soil around the pile to provide a fire break.
  • If you need an accelerant, use a 50/50 mixture of diesel and gasoline. Use more diesel in hot weather, 60/40 or 70/30. Never use pure gasoline. It will explode.
  • onitor the pile throughout the burn. When it is done, douse the remains with water and check back the following day to ensure the ashes are cool.

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