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  • Last modified 177 days ago (Nov. 3, 2016)

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Fire pits bring campfires home

Staff writer

Fire pits have become a popular item for backyard landscapes.

“There’s something pleasant in this part of the country in the spring and in the fall before it’s too hot or cold to sit outside with a fire,” Michael Powers of Marion said.

Powers and his wife, Judy, have had a fire pit since they lived at a previous residence. The one at their former home Powers created himself, digging a trench and lining it with rock, then pea gravel.

“When we moved to the house we’ve got, I wanted to have one and decided to have it built,” Powers said.

Having young grandchildren at that time made them leery of the possibility of a child falling into a below-ground fire pit.

They use their fire pit not just while entertaining friends and family, but when enjoying quiet evenings together at home, Powers said.

“We’ve also used it in the summer when the grandkids want to cook hot dogs or make s’mores,” Powers said.

Powers offers advice for those who want to build their own fire pit. Don’t line the bottom with concrete. Ashes will decompose and leach into the ground on their own. Lining the pit with concrete traps the ashes and leads to pools of water in the bottom that have to be cleaned out as well as creating a breeding area for mosquitoes.

Frank Klenda, salesman at Hillsboro True Value, said he recently researched building his own fire pit.

“I would suggest going to YouTube and there are different designs with different how-to’s that tell you how to build a personal one,” Klenda said.

Klenda said it’s important to contact a city code officer for information on fire pit location. Cities have requirements on the distance fire pits must be from structures or trees.

Ready-made fire pits commonly available range from chimineas to metal fire rings two to three feet wide, Klenda said.

Fire pit instructions on the Internet range from simple and easy to ornate and time-consuming. Instructions for building a fire pit using the drum from an old washer can even be found.

Fire pits have become so popular they can be readily purchased as well as built.

Last modified Nov. 3, 2016

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