A Fully Sanctioned Burning Man Regional

Burning Art guidelines

If you are an Artist interested in Burning Art at PDF, there are some things you should be aware of.  Below is a list of materials that we have to prohibit from all fires at PDF, as well as safety guidelines that we must require of you in order to prevent damage and/or disasters at PDF. Please be aware that if you do not follow these guidelines, you may not be able to burn your art.


  • Burnable art installations are to be placed by City Planning
  • Burnable art installations must be approved for burning onsite by the Fire Safety team
  • Large scale burnable art installations require a burn shield platform 
  • Large scale burnable art installations are not allowed in any camping area.
  • A safety perimeter of one and a half times the height of the flame effect is required.
  • Any towers or artwork that incorporates fire shall be secured from the wind and for safety 
  • If onsite conditions exist that make it unsafe or untenable to burn your art (e.g., too windy, torrential rain, drought or extremely dry conditions, etc), you will be expected to cleanup your art and remove it from the PDF location by noon on Monday.


  • Any solid accelerant, pyrotechnics, fireworks(or device containing it) without previous approval of the Burning Arts Team and inclusion in the Burn Plan
  • No magazines/newspapers/cardboard/paperboard/posterboard/phonebooks/etc. Contact the Burning Arts Coordinator if you need an exception to this rule, such as heavy mailing tubes.
  • 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 Burning Arts Coordinator 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
  • No oxidizers without previous approval of the Burning Arts Team and inclusion in the Burn Plan
  • Anything (other than small amounts of magnesium ribbon and/or legal burnplan approved fireworks) that results in a class D (burning metal) fire is prohibited.
  • No electrical components
  • No color paper of any kind
  • 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 the Burning Arts Coordinator or Fire Safety Lead BEFORE you



  1. Stuff burning on the main pad needs to fit inside 16′ equilateral pyramid. (If little bits, like the horn of a unicorn, stick out, that’s fine.)
  2. If you aren’t on the pony pad, it needs to fit inside an 8′ x 8′ x 8′ cube to fit on the roadway.
  3. No piece can be larger than 17 feet tall EVER. We do not have the ability to control a fire piece larger than that. 
  4. 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.
  1. 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).
  1. 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.)
  1. 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 Burnings Arts Coordinator. Any kind of pressurized canister is not allowed. Remember, the goal is to burn wood, not accelerants, and with proper construction, you don’t need much accelerant.
  2. 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 Burning Arts Team (via the email on the PDF page) 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.)
  3. Do not transport firewood (including brush and driftwood) across state lines, due to concerns about transporting pests like the emerald ash borer.

If as an artist you have questions or concerns, please contact pdf-arts@firepony.org