Fire/Flame Policies



The Dangerous Art Department wishes to ensure that artists are able to create art that preserves the unique flavor of our events. Our fire policies are designed to protect participants from what we like to call “non-consensual grievous danger.” Due to the remote location of the event venue, wildfires are also a major concern.

  • Absolutely NO FIREWORKS. They are illegal during our event. Even sparklers and fountains are illegal in Utah on the dates of our event. Each participant is responsible to follow this rule.
  • Firearms use fire too. It’s right there in the name. Leave them home. This is not a suggestion.
  • Element 11 event organizers reserve the right to disallow all campground fires (not including camping stoves) during the festival if weather, ground conditions, or local/state ordinance  necessitate it.
  • Generally, camp stoves or fires in approved campfire containers such as elevated burn barrels are allowed. However, NO open fires (I.E. on the ground) or unscheduled bonfires are allowed at any time. All open flames and fires must have a conspicuous fire extinguisher within 20 feet.
  • If you are asked by an event organizer, a theme camp lead, or a Ranger to put out your fire for any reason you must do so without resistance and immediately.
  • Pay attention to changing weather conditions. If the winds get heavy, put out fires.
  • In areas that are marked “No Fires” (basically anywhere south of the Esplanade): You may use cooking fires (propane burners, Coleman stoves, etc) with extreme care. However, you may not have burn barrels, fire pans, raised fire pits, tiki torches, etc in these areas.
  • In areas where fire is allowed (the Esplanade and area around the effigy structures), you may have burn barrels, raised fire pits, fire pans, etc. Be extremely conscious of sparks; if your fire barrel is throwing them, let it die down a bit before adding more wood. If your fire becomes a hazard, you will likely be asked to extinguish it.
  • Fire performances, whether scheduled or impromptu, can only be staged in areas where fire is allowed. Fire performance is not allowed in areas marked “No Fires.” Fire performers absolutely must have designated fire safety people whenever/wherever they perform, who have some means of putting out a fire (e.g., wet towel, fire blanket or extinguisher) at hand. Fire performers must follow all safety precautions and must use “spotters” and fire extinguishers. Please give fire performers plenty of space (25 feet minimum) and do not talk to them while they are performing. Fire performers performing without safety spotters, in areas where fire is not allowed, or while intoxicated will be asked to stop, and may have their ticket revoked, resulting in eviction from the event. Spinning outside designated areas or without spotters poses a serious risk of causing injury to performers and nearby participants, or of igniting a wildfire. In flagrant cases, proceedings may be initiated  to evict the violator from the event without any warnings.
  • Event participants make up fire safety staff that will be supervising the burning of our fire art. Everyone is required to stay behind safety perimeters and must follow the orders of safety personnel and Rangers during bonfires or fire performances. Rangers are there to protect participants and the event from tragic consequences. If any participant breaches the perimeter around a burn sufficiently to require intervention by the inner perimeter of Rangers (“Sandmen”), the incident will be escalated to Ranger Shift Command and a “007” event will be triggered. Ranger Shift Command, the BODOD and the 007 team will decide among themselves whether the incident warrants eviction from the event.


  • APPROVAL REQUIRED:  If your art involves fire (with the exception of fire performers) you will be required to seek approval from the Dangerous Art Department prior to installing, burning, or operating it at Element 11. This applies to bonfires, effigies, structures, flame effects, mutant vehicles, and any burn platforms or containers larger than a 55-gallon drum. You can fill out a questionnaire HERE to begin the process of gaining approval. Some projects may require inspection in situ prior to approval; others may be approved based on the plan and details as laid out in the questionnaire.
  • IGNITION SAFETY:  Gasoline, diesel fuel, or other high volatility fuels may not be used to ignite fuel fires, as they tend to cause dangerous explosions. White gas (AKA Coleman fuel) can be explosive and should be used with caution, and only as part of a larger ignition plan. It is also quite toxic and doesn’t burn hot enough to be effective anyway. Use liquid paraffin or charcoal lighter fluid as an accelerant instead. You must run your ignition plan by a member of the Dangerous Art Department before instituting it, or your burn will not be able to go forward.
  • PERIMETERS: Rangers will need to be able to create a perimeter around any structures or art pieces that are to be burned. Without the approval of the Ranger Incident Commander, you will not be allowed to burn your structure.  The audience will be seated a minimum of 200 feet from the structure, with a second perimeter approximately 75 feet inside that one. Ranger operations take priority in the first 25 feet inside the perimeter, and your show may not interfere with their function. No performers or VIPs will be allowed inside the Second Perimeter (“No Man’s Land”). Please take this into account when designing any pre-burn shows or burn elements.
  • CLEAN UP: In order to be able to burn your art, you must have submitted a Leave No Trace plan with the Elemental Public Works department. After ignition, you must stay with the fire until all flames and smoke are extinguished completely. You are responsible to fully clean up your burn scar. Leave no evidence of your burn. YOU MUST provide necessary fire extinguishers.
  • FLAME EFFECTS: If your art (whether stationary or on an art car) includes flame effects (flammable compressed gas), you must present your system for inspection to the Dangerous Art Department in order to be allowed to use your flame effect during the event. In order to ensure your art is built safely and will be allowed to operate, refer to Burning Man’s guidelines for Flame Effects. Depending on the nature of your project, you may be required to submit your art for inspection by Dangerous Art Department representatives before operating it at the event. This determination will be made based on your responses to the Dangerous Art Questionnaire.

Updated March 2015