Permits are Required from the Forest Fire Warden for Outside Burning

Smokey Sign


Per RSA 227-L:17, the state of New Hampshire requires anyone who wishes to burn clean, ordinary combustibles such as leaves, brush or untreated lumber, or have a camp or cooking fire to have written permission from the landowner and a written fire permit from the local forest fire warden or local fire department in the town or city where the fire will be kindled.

What time can a fire be kindled?

Fires may only be kindled after 5:00 p.m. and must be extinguished before 9:00 a.m.

There are two exemptions to this:

1: When the Forest Fire Warden determines that conditions are appropriate Category I (Campfire) permits may allow for a small (under 2 foot diameter) fire to be burned during the day.

2: When there is continuous rain fall, however, the fire must be extinguished when the rain stops and depending on what town you are burning in, there may be some variances to these times. A Fire Permit is still required when it is raining.

What can be burned?
• Clean, untreated wood and brush.
• Material must be no greater than 5 inches in diameter.

What cannot be burned?

• Combustible domestic waste as defined by RSA-125N, including, but not limited to:
• Household trash
•Packaging Material
• Plastic
• Coated or laminated paper
• Rubber
• Painted or treated wood
• Coated or treated cardboard
• Oily rags
• Animal, vegetable and kitchen waste
• Treated wood or composite materials

Where are you going to burn? How far from the nearest structure, trees and dead vegetation or overhead phone or power lines? Fires must be no closer than 50 feet from a structure, or 25 feet if in an approved incinerator.

What do you have for fire protection? A hose, shovel or rake, and a bucket of water should be available at the fire. You are liable for the costs of extinguishing escaped fires.

How much help will you have during the burn? Your fire must be attended at all times, or completely extinguished.

Commercial Permits

•The Forest Ranger for your town/city and local Warden are needed to issue a commercial permit to burn when no other means of disposal of material is available, such as chipping, hauling to a landfill or other methods of legal disposal.
•The permittee will be required to have suppression equipment on site while the burning is being done and the fires will have to be totally extinguished or be constantly attended.

Gas Grills or charcoal fires up off the ground on your own property do not require a fire permit. Fire pits, chimineas, outside fireplaces and other wood fires do require a permit from the forest fire warden. Seasonal permits outside fireplaces and fire pits are issued for one year only, please contact the forest fire warden for your 2017 seasonal fire permit now.

The use of Chimineas or outdoor fire places on decks and or within 25 feet of a structure is not permited (Category I fire) or within 50 feet (Category II fire).

Fire Permits are broken down into four Categories

Category I Fire

•A small controlled fire, such as a cooking fire.
•Must be contained within a ring of fire resistive material or in a portable fire place and cannot be greater than 2 feet in diameter.
•Must be 25 feet from a structure
With approval from the Forest Fire Warden ONLY, a Category I Fire may be kindled at any time of the day weather raining or not.

Category I permits may be issued as a seasonal permit, but may be suspended if the Forest Fire Warden or Deputy Forest Fire Warden determines fire conditions to be too dangerous.

In Merrimack Category I Fire Permits are reserved for summer camps and camp grounds
Specifications for camp or cooking fires Category I
Category II Fire

A controlled fire, such as a camp or cooking fire.

•Must be contained within a ring of fire resistive material or in a protable fire place.
•Cannot be greater than 4 feet in diameter.
•Must be at least 50 feet from a structure.
•A Category II Fire may only be kindled between the hours of 5:00 pm and 9:00 am.
Category II permits may be issued as a seasonal permit, but may be suspended if the Forest Fire Warden or Deputy Forest Fire Warden determines fire conditions to be too dangerous.
Specifications for camp or cooking fires Category II
Category III Permits

•A controlled fire greater than 4 feet in diameter or
•A controlled fire not contained within a ring of fire resistive material.
•Must be 50 feet from a structure
•A Category III Fire may only be kindled between the hours of 5:00 pm and 9:00 am.
•Category III permits can be issued formore than one day, but are not typically issued for more than 7 days depending on weather conditions. In Merrimack Category III fire permits may be issued for more than 7 days by the Forest Fire Warden of Deputy Forest Fire Warden ONLY.
Category IV Fire

•A controlled fire larger that a Category III Fire
•May be kindled during the day between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm even if it is not raining.
•The permittee must comply with additional special provisions to qualify for a Category IV Permit.
A Category IV Permit is issued jointly between the State of New Hampshire Forest Ranger and the local Forest Fire Warden.

Information on the permit requirements and the permits may be obtained at no charge from the Newbury Department or Newbury Forest Fire Warden or Deputy Wardens.

•Henry Thomas Fire Chief, Newbury Fire Department 344-9381 e-mail: newburyc1@aol.com

•Dave Smith, Forest Fire Warden 938-5925
•Mike Croteau, Deputy Forest Fire Warden 763-2679
•Wayne Whitford, Fire prevention; 748-1583 newburyfire@gmail.com