What are the pros and cons of a ground fire?

A bonfire in the ground.

An in-ground fire pit is a great way to create a useful space in the backyard that the family and guests can enjoy year-round. It is important to remember that an in-ground fire pit is often a permanent structure that cannot be moved or otherwise deconstructed without significant effort and possible damage to the yard, so the homeowner must be certain of the pit’s location as well as the style and pit size before committing to an in-ground fire pit installation. The in-ground pit will allow the homeowner to make a safe fire, great for heating or cooking, and the pit can be a visually pleasing accent to the backyard.

Portable fire pits are usually made of steel or another type of metal and can be quite small. After use, the fire pit will be dirty with ash and soot, and the unit will be hot to the touch for hours after use, which means it cannot be safely transported. It is, however, a good option for temporary purposes, as opposed to a ground fire, which will stay in one place.

A ground fire will be a very stable structure if constructed correctly and while it is by no means portable it is guaranteed to be a safe place to start a fire because all materials used to build the pit must be fire retardant. If properly designed, it will prevent embers or sparks from escaping the pit, and if one or two sparks or embers do manage to escape the pit, the surrounding area should also be made of non-combustible materials.

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One of the main disadvantages of an in-ground fire pit is the cost of installation. If the pit is made of concrete or stone, the homeowner can build it himself, but materials such as brick may require the services of a mason or someone with experience working with bricks. If the owner has worked with bricks before or is confident in his building skills, he can save on installation costs. The materials, however, can still be expensive, depending on the size of the well. Most pits will have a base made of concrete, stone, or brick, and the fire ring and surrounding patio will also need to be made of non-combustible materials. A larger fire pit or moat with features like benches or an elaborate patio will also be more expensive to build.

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