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A fire ring is designed to contain a fire that is built directly upon the ground, such as a campfire. Fire rings have no bottom, and are simply circles made of forged metal, stones, concrete, etc. which surround and contain a fire. Manufactured steel fire rings are available in various sizes to suit every need.
When a fire is to be built somewhere that isn't "fire-safe," such as on a patio or in a backyard, a fire pit may be better used instead. Fire pits have legs and bottoms, and are designed to contain the entire fire instead of just keeping it in one place.
A fire ring may be nothing more than a short, wide section of metal tube, partially buried in the ground. Slightly more advanced fire rings may be partially covered with metal bars so that the fire may be used for cooking. These types are seen at many campsites. Fire rings in urban areas, such as on beaches, may be made of poured concrete. Makeshift fire rings can be constructed out of a ring of stones where pre-constructed rings are not available (care should be taken as some stones can explode when heated due to trapped gas pockets, thermal expansion, or water contained flashing into steam.
California Beach Fire Rings are famous as being a freely usable commodity on the public beach front, and are used by families, youth, and church organizations year-round. In 2012, contentions about these fire rings have arisen and put their long history in jeopardy.
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