By Rita Hubbard on June 22 2018 07:48:20
The Dakota fire pit is an efficient, simple fire design that produces little to no smoke. As depicted in the illustration, two small holes are dug in the ground: one for the firewood and the other to provide a draft of air. Small twigs are packed into the fire hole and readily combustible material is set on top and lit. The fire burns from the top downward, drawing a steady, laminar stream of fresh air from the air hole as it burns. Because the air passes freely around the fuel, near complete combustion is achieved, the result being a fire that burns strongly and brightly and with little or no seen smoke. The Dakota fire pit is a tactical fire used by the United States military as the flame produces a low light signature, reduced smoke, and is easier to ignite under strong wind conditions.
Many people opt for a mobile fire pit that can be moved around to various locations. Movable fire pits are certainly less expensive than a built-in pit, come in a wide variety of designs, and have the added benefit of portability. The primary drawback, however, is that a movable fire pit tends to only last a season or two before the materials begin to deteriorate.
For very narrow landscape spaces, a full circle may not be feasible for a fire pit. That’s OK: Like so much else in our homes, fire pits very much adapt to our personalized style as well as our space restrictions. This half-circle fits neatly into a sloping space that’s not deep enough to accommodate any wider diameter.
All permanent fire pits have some sort of fireproof material as a surround; it acts as a barrier to prevent people from getting too close and as a buffer to any loose, hot materials that may escape the structure. If you have the space, a wider than normal decking can be easily integrated into the fire pit’s permanent seating, for a setup that mimics this space. Here, a slightly raised surround elevates the narrow ring of the fire pit and offers casual seating for larger gatherings.