UPDATE FOR 2023: There will be no fires permitted in Open Camping. The property is wooded with dense brush. Only Theme Camps with approved fire safety arrangements will be allowed open fires.

Constellation is a Leave No Trace event. It is important that burnable art be constructed of materials which do not produce toxic fumes or excess pollution. It is recommended that anyone bringing materials to be burned first refer to this excellent information at the burningman.com website.  Below is safety guidelines that we must require of you in order to prevent damage and/or disasters at Constellation, as well as a list of materials that we have to prohibit from all fires during stay in our shared city.

Please read the fire safety guidelines and policies below, and if you have any questions about fire, fire rules, and/or requirements, please email firesafety@constellationburn.org

We also encourage you to read these additional Fire and Safety guidelines:

Artist unknown. Constellation 2017. Photo © Patty Simonton

General Safety

All fire is prohibited inside or under any of the structures, including fire performance (like fire spinning and breathing, etc), as well as burn barrels and LP effects.

In all cases, fuels (gasoline, liquid propane, etc) shall be stored away from any open flames of any kind. Any camps or installations housing fuels must do so in regulation containers and shall be required to keep an extinguisher within reach of their fuel storage. All camps giving home to any fire related items shall assure safe operation of fire within all parts of their camp/ installation.


Fireworks of any kind are prohibited unless specifically approved by Fire Safety Team and issued a permit in compliance with local laws.

Open Flames

All open flame items like cauldrons, burn barrels, fire pits and similar items shall be set sturdy, lifted up off level ground. Participants are responsible to set up and maintain a 10’ (ten foot) radius around the flame.

Fire Performance

All fire performances are to be done with a ‘safety’, away from property (tents, shade structures, etc) and other people. No more than two performers for any one safety, minimum.

No Fire performances under any overhead wires. Props are to be spun off away from others or their property. In all cases of Fire Performance, fuel dumps should be secured and away from all open flames.

Fire Art

All Pressurized Gas Art installations are to be inspected before ignition. The Installation Artist shall contact and assist the Fire Safety Team in regards to checking all operational parts, placement and usage limitations of the installation piece. Once cleared, ignition and use can begin.

From transport onto the property until exodus, the Installation Artist shall retain all responsibility of the equipment, fuel, and operation of the Art.

Safe Materials for Burnable Art

Basically most organic material is OK. These include:

  • Wood (untreated)
  • Natural-fiber cloth
  • Paper
  • Small amounts of paint, glue, etc.
  • Please minimize nails, screws and other metals


Simply put, burning of synthetic materials are not allowed, nor are mattresses or furniture. Constellation asks you to avoid the following materials:

  • No oxidizers without previous approval of the Fire Safety Team and inclusion in the Burn Plan
  • Any kind of firework that involves skybound display or audible salute may draw undesired attention to Constellation. Additionally, explosions and projectiles increase the potential for personal injury and damage to property. In an effort of compromise between protection of people and property, and event longevity while not to not hinder artistic freedom and self-expression; we ask that artists get advance approval for any art installation that includes any fireworks of the following nature.des or involves a rocket and
    (sparklers, smoke and punk, fountains, novelties, crackle and strobe, wheels and spinners effects are all permitted with Fire Safety Team approval) Fireworks not locally considered novelty include: any skybound displays, rockets, roman candles, and explosives including firecrackers (salutes) and require a special permit, therefore these are not allowed.
  • Any solid accelerant (or device containing it) without previous approval of the Fire Safety Team and inclusion in the Burn Plan
  • No magazines, newspapers, phone books/cardboard/paperboard/ colored papers, etc. Contact Fire Safety Team  if you need an exception to this rule.
  • No synthetic fabrics (synthetics can throw off flakes of burning, melting ash)
  • Only a minimal amount of natural fabrics may be used in any piece- consult Fire Safety Team before burning.
  • No glue-based wood materials such as micro density fiberboard MDF, melamine.
  • No chipboard/particleboard
  • No flame retardants.
  • No pressure-treated wood. (beware the green tint- it may contain arsenic)
  • No plastics/PVC
  • Nothing classified as a hazardous material by the postal service
  • Anything (other than small amounts of magnesium ribbon and/or legal fireworks) that results in a class D (burning metal) fire is prohibited.
  • No electrical components
  • No green plant material (leaves, vines, etc.) – inhaling burning plants such as poison ivy can be deadly.
  • No pressure vessels (even empty ones); including spray paint cans, propane canisters, etc.
  • No driftwood
  • No gasoline
  • No white gas
  • No LNG (liquefied natural gas)
  • No paint with a heavy metal pigment (red/yellow/black lead, cadmium, chrome etc)
  • No more than a minimal amount of duct tape. It should only be used as a fastener. Paper based tape would be preferred.

**If you have questions, contact Constellation Art Team Support or Fire Safety Lead BEFORE you burn**


  1. Stuff burning on the main pad needs to fit inside 14′ equilateral pyramid. (If little bits, like the horn of a unicorn, stick out, that’s fine.)
  2. No piece can be larger than 18 feet tall. We do not have the ability to control a fire piece larger than that.
  3. Your piece needs to be in place on its burn pad and complete by 5pm on the day of your scheduled burn. Your piece gets fueled 30 minutes prior to your scheduled burn time. After your piece gets fueled, you need to have at least one member of the art team physically present to keep an eye on it (keep an eye out for smokers, folks spinning poi, etc). Presoaking logs with fuel can improve the lighting of your piece; if you’re not burning on a stack, consider presoaking a few. This needs to be covered explicitly in the Burn Plan.
  4. Please use ferrous hardware (screws, nails, etc) that can be picked up with a magnetic sweeper. If you have an artistic need to use small, sharp, non-ferrous pieces (brass tacks or whatever), please alert the Burnings Arts Coordinator (it affects cleanup on Monday).
  5. As the artist, please verify that your piece has been cleaned up prior to Monday at noon. (Historically, the fire team has a pretty good record on handling cleanup, but remember – fire team is not responsible for your piece being cleaned up, you are.)
  6. As a general rule of thumb, accelerants that are thicker than water (kero, diesel, lamp oil, tiki fuel, bio-diesel (this probably won’t work well, but we won’t object to you using it), paraffin, etc) is allowed, and most of the ones thinner than water (gasoline, white gas, coleman fuel, LNG, etc) are not. If you’re unsure, ask the Fire Safety Team. Any kind of pressurized canister is not allowed. Constellation can provide tiki fuel for you. Remember, the goal is to burn wood, not accelerants, and with proper construction, you don’t need much accelerant.
  7. Without prior approval, burning art pieces may not be used as elevated observation platforms or climbable art. If an artist is interested in making their burnable art interactive in this manner, please contact the Constellation Art Team Support at cats@constellationburn.org in advance of applying for an art grant. (They’re a safety hazard before they burn, and making them mechanically strong enough means using wood that’s thick enough to burn for a long, long time.)
  8. It is illegal to transport firewood (including brush and driftwood) into and out of West Virginia. Most Mid-Atlantic states, including W.V., are under quarantine for invasive species such as Emerald Ash Borer and European Gypsy Moth. Constellation will provide wood to burn. However, if you want to bring your own, please buy local as it helps protect the environment of the region, and also helps the economy of the area allowing us land to use as our home away from home.