No fire shall be kindled without obtaining a written permit. To obtain a permit, please stop by the fire station. Permit issuance hours are 6:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. It is recommended that you call the station first to be sure the staff is not out on an emergency call. With the exception of a rainy day or adequate snow cover, no burning will be allowed before 5:00 p.m.
The department is now issuing seasonal burning permits for all residential brush burning. This means that any resident who wishes to burn will fill out an annual permit and be issued a permit number. Please keep the original permit for your records.
On the day you wish to burn, you will call the station first to check if it is a “permitted burn day” per NH Forests & Lands, then you will give your permit number.
This new process is in place to streamline the burning permit process and make it more convenient for residents to obtain a burning permit. If you have any further questions regarding permits, please feel free to call (603) 329-6006 or stop by the station.
Rules and Regulations
A written fire permit shall be summarily suspended if any of the following fire permit restrictions are violated, and an official notice or summons may be issued to the violator for the following:
If a fire is kindled of material is burned between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. unless it is actually raining, except for category I and IV fire permits.
If a fire is kindled which is in non-conformance with the permit information provided for by RES 5601.04(b) for a category I, II, III, fire or RES 5601.05(b) for a category IV fire.
If a fire is kindled of material is burned during unfavorable weather conditions (wind, lack of precipitation, or other factors increasing fire hazard) or when a proclamation closing the woodlands is in force.
If a fire is kindled or material is burned when specified assistance or suppression equipment is not present to control the fire.
If the permitted fails to keep the fire under control or if the Director, Division of Forests and Lands, or his authorized agents or the Forest Fire Warden feel that the material being burned is causing an unusual hazard endangering life or property or both.
If the material being burned violates any state law, rule, local ordinance or New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services rule regarding open burning.
If an open fire is left unattended at any time prior to being completely extinguished.
Except for public and private camp or picnic sites, if fires are kindled and material burned closer than 50' from any structure and if provisions are not made to prevent a fire from spreading to within 50' of a structure unless the fire is a category I fire in which case it shall not be closer than 25' from any structure.
Category I Fire means a small controlled fire, such as a camp or cooking fire, no greater than 2' in diameter contained within a ring of fire resistive material or in a portable fireplace. A category I fire, conditions permitting, may be kindled with a permit at any time of day whether raining or not.
Category II Fire means a controlled fire, such as a camp or cooking fire, no greater than 4' in diameter contained within a ring of fire resistive material or in a portable fire place. A category II fire, conditions permitting, may be kindled with a permit between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. unless it is actually raining.
Category III Fire means any other fire, not a category I or category II fire or a fire greater than 4' in diameter or a fire not contained within a ring of resistive material. A category III fire, conditions permitting, may only be kindled with a permit between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. unless it is actually raining.
Category IV Commercial Fire means a fire, other than a category I fire, that can be kindled with a permit between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. whether raining or not. A permit for this fire would be issued jointly between the forest Ranger and the Forest Fire Warden or the Warden's authorized agent. The permitted must comply with additional special provisions to qualify for a category IV fire permit.
Forest Fire Danger Classification System
The fire season in New Hampshire is usually from mid March through mid November. During the fire season New Hampshire weather data is collected daily from the National Weather Service in Taunton, Massachusetts and Gray, Maine, and from the system of fire tower lookout stations and local fire departments with weather gathering instruments. This weather data allows us to determine daily forest fire danger to assist fire departments throughout the state with what might be expected for wildfire behavior.
Weather reporting stations and the National Weather Service provide temperature, relative humidity, wind direction, wind speed, and rainfall in the last 24 hours. This information is put into the National Fire Danger Rating System formula that provides us with the fire danger class day (see chart below).
A class 1 day is a day a forest fire is not likely to start. (LOW)
A class 2 day the danger is MODERATE, but it is possible for fires to start in light flashy fuels but will have a slow rate of spread.
A class 3 day the fire danger is HIGH and fine fuels in open areas and sunny slopes may spread rapidly.
A class 4 day the fire danger is VERY HIGH and fires will start easily from all causes. Fires will spread rapidly and increase in intensity rapidly meaning they will be hard to extinguish. Spot fires may occur and, except in spring, will burn deep.
A class 5 day the danger is EXTREME. Small fires will spread very rapidly meaning they will be hard to extinguish. Severe spotting may occur and mop-up will require a great deal of effort.
Source: New Hampshire Division Forests & Lands Home Forest Protection Bureau