How to Start a Fire in a Fire Pit

how to start a fire in a fire pit

Starting a fire in a fire pit requires knowledge and skill. Here is some advice on lighting it safely and successfully. A fire pit is an excellent way to add atmosphere and warmth to your backyard or outdoor living area. It can be used for cooking, roasting marshmallows, or simply for warmth. But starting a fire in one can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about starting a fire in a fire pit safely and easily.

Uncovering Fire Pit Basics

Before you begin building your fire, it is essential to understand some basic fire pit safety regulations. First and foremost, ensure the pit is in an area free from flammable materials like buildings, trees or bushes. Additionally, contact local authorities to confirm if there is a burning ban in place or if a permit is needed.

Gather the Right Supplies

In order to start a fire in a fire pit, you’ll need the correct supplies. Here are the items you’ll need:

Fire Pit

Select the ideal fire pit that meets your requirements. Fire pits come in various sizes, materials and designs so it’s important to pick one that meets all of your requirements.


Select the ideal firewood for your fire pit. Hardwoods such as oak, hickory or maple make for the best fuel; avoid softwoods like pine which burn too quickly and produce too much smoke.


Kindling is a small, dry stick, twig or leaf that you use to start a fire. You can make this by using dried leaves, small twigs or even newspaper.

Lighter or Matches

In order to start the fire, you’ll need a lighter or matches. Choose long lighters so your hands are kept far away from the flame.

Building the Fire

Now that you have all of your supplies, it is time to build the fire. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Construct a Fire Pit

This is the initial step to taking when beginning to prepare your fire pit. Once the fire pit has been cleaned and dried, remove any debris, leaves or ash with a shovel. Make sure the pit is spotless and completely dry.

Step 2: Prepare the Firewood

Arrange all your logs according to preference. Start by placing two or three larger logs at the bottom of a fire pit, leaving enough room between them for airflow. Then, layer smaller logs on top in an overlapping pattern on top of these larger ones; this will give your fire room to breathe and burn evenly.

Step 3: Add Kindling

Place the kindling on top of the logs. Make sure it is dry and not damp as this will make it harder to light.

Step 4: Light the Fire

Utilizing a long lighter or matches, light your kindling from below. Be sure to keep both hands and face away from the fire while lighting it. Eventually, your kindling should ignite logs and the flame will begin to grow.

Step 5: Continue the Fire

Once the fire has begun, continue adding logs as necessary. Be sure to maintain a safe distance away from the flames while doing this.

Here are some important safety guidelines when using a fire pit:

  • Never leave a fire pit unattended.
  • Keep children and pets away from the pit.
  • Avoid using gasoline or any other accelerant to start the fire.
  • Have an extinguisher or bucket of water nearby in case an emergency arises.


Starting a fire in your fire pit can be both enjoyable and relaxing, but it’s essential to follow safety protocols to keep everyone safe. By understanding the basics of fire pit safety and following the steps outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a roaring fire in no time!

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