Permits Needed for Fire Performers at Burning Man?

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Permits Needed for Fire Performers at Burning Man?

Postby trilobyte » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:16 pm

In short, no they are not.

Less short… you may have heard something about a new state law in Nevada that went into effect on January 1 that affects fire performers (requiring special permits and fees, and carrying a bunch of restrictions). While it is true a new law has gone into effect, it does not affect Burning Man (which is a private event). ePlayans Pinemom and JennyH do an excellent job of explaining things in their posts in another thread. I'll quote JennyH's post below, since I think that covers all the bases.

JennyH wrote:The state of Nevada’s Fire Marshal’s office has enforced the NFPA 160 rules for at least 10 years. The Nevada interpretation of this would only allow performers over 21. The state Fire Marshal’s office was going to try to officially pass this age restriction into law, until Controlled Burn stepped up to fight them on this. The new law allows for apprentice fire performers 18-21. The original draft of the new bill asked for apprentice performers 12 -21 to be allowed to perform. In the course of the process, several city fire marshal and other fire fighting professionals came to testify against this bill. The age was raised to 18. Although this is not optimal for us, this still allows a greater number of fire performers than the previous law and it has opened the door for further negotiations.

Controlled Burn has many performing members who are under 18. We used to try to “fly under the radar” and let our kids perform at gigs. As the popularity of fire performance grew in Reno, more fire department regulation came along with it. Fire marshals started checking performers for Cards and performers insurance. Permits were required. In order to keep performing, the group was forced to either quit or comply. Many of our young and talented performers were no longer able to spin fire at permitted venues.

Rather than just lying down and quitting, Controlled Burn chose to fight for their younger performers. It was a long process and the gains were minimal, but there were gains, nonetheless. The group will continue to fight to allow for young performers in the next legislative session.

Controlled Burn did not try to change restrictions for felons, or those with prior certification of addiction to drugs, narcotics, and/or alcohol. You have to pick your battles and these were not pursued.

You only have to have a Fire Marshal card in Nevada if you are spinning fire in a permitted venue. If you are on private property, you do not need a card or a permit. You could be a drunk, 15 year old crack head felon and, as long as no one complains, you can spin fire.


Thanks to pinemom, JennyH, and everyone at Controlled Burn for not only fighting the good fight, but keeping us in the know.
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