At Northeastern Fences, we believe summer and autumn are the perfect time for building a bonfire in your backyard. Bonfires can provide the perfect ambiance for backyard parties or family get-togethers. Nothing beats sitting around a fire with friends and family to tell stories, sing campfire songs, and who can say no to s’mores? But there are a number of things you need to consider before building a backyard bonfire regarding materials needed, safety and privacy.

Materials Needed

To get a fire started you will need an ignition source (matches or a lighter), tinder, and kindling. There are a number of different strategies that you can employ to start your fire (see here). Once started, fires need fuel to burn and in the case of bonfires, the preferred fuel is usually wood. The best type of wood to use in your bonfire is hardwood that has been cured. Cured wood is wood that has been dried out for a long time (usually more than a year). Uncured wood produces more smoke and has smaller flames.

You also need something to contain your fire. A lot of people like to have an established place in their backyard for bonfires. Having an established bonfire area allows you to burn the same place over and over again while keeping the rest of your lawn in great condition. Some cities or homeowners associations will also require fire to be burnt within a firepit. Firepits are structures in which a fire is burned. They can be a as simple as a ring made of metal or stone used to contain a fire, or they can be very elaborate structures designed for maximum bonfire enjoyment.


It is always best to err on the side of caution when fire is involved. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when making a bonfire. If you are using a fire starter, make sure you are using one designed to start fires (such a lighter fluid) and always follow the recommended usage instructions. Never use gasoline or alcohol to start a fire. Do not burn a fire in areas that you are not allowed. Some areas have permanent or temporary burn bans due to climate. Dry vegetation can catch fire and easily get out of control. Always clear any flammable debris within a 10 foot area around your fire and try to avoid placing fires under any low hanging vegetation. Lastyly, be sure your fire is totally extinguished with water before you leave it.


Bonfires are a fun family activity, but if you live in the suburbs, you may feel like you are throwing a bonfire for the whole neighborhood. More and more, it seems as homes are being built closer together. Having neighbors is great, but you may not always share your family moments with everyone in the neighborhood. A privacy or stockade fence may be exactly what you are looking for. At Northeastern Fences we know you value your privacy, so visit us today to see how we can meet your privacy fence needs.