6 steps to building a backyard bonfire
1. Find the right spot
A bonfire can be dangerous if not done correctly. Choose an area sheltered from wind that’s located far away from buildings, fences, garden structures, trees, roots, bushes, and plants.
Clear the area of any household trash or garden waste, including bottles, cans, aerosols, flammable liquids, rubber tires, and anything containing plastic, foam, or paint.
Your backyard bonfire should be built on bare earth, not grass. If you can’t find a bare area, you can make your own by digging and raking away all plant materials, especially dry grass, branches, and bark that can easily catch fire.
2. Make a pit
Once you’ve cleared the area, you can start making your pit. The pit should be a circular, dish-shaped hole that cradles the fire, grouping the coals together to help them burn longer and hotter.
Dig a pit a few inches deeper and wider than you want your fire to be. About two feet in diameter and a foot deep is sufficient. If your fire pit is too deep, your fire will not be able to thrive. Place garden rocks, bricks, or heavy logs around the perimeter of the pit.
Make a flat bed of charcoal briquettes in the center and ensure that all your materials are dry.