Outside Burning Information

During the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, Seasonal campfire permits and up to 3-Day brush fire permits will be issued over the phone to property owners. If you don’t own the property, you will need the owner to call with verbal permission for you to burn.

Central Fire Station - 524-6881 (Downtown and Lakeport District)

Weirs Fire Station - 366-2229 (Weirs District)

NH Fire Permits & Brush Burning Information

Fire Permits & Brush Burning Information
New Hampshire Code of Administrative Rules
Res 5601 – Fire Permits

Res 5601.01 Definitions
(a) “Attended” means that an individual responsible for the fire and capable of extinguishing the fire be on the same property as the fire and be able to immediately extinguish the fire.

(b) “Burn Barrel” means a barrel or similar device not larger than 7 cubic feet in size and made of a heavy gauge metal that is solid with no holes larger than 1/2 inch in diameter and covered with a tight cover made of a metal screen or hardware cloth for the burning or permissible materials.

(c) “Category I fire” means a small, controlled fire, such as a camp or cooking fire, no greater than two feet in diameter contained within a ring or fire resistive material or in a portable fireplace.

(d) “Category II fire” means a controlled fire, such as a camp or cooking fire, no greater than four feet in diameter contained within a ring or fire resistive material or in a portable fireplace.

(e) “Category III fire” means any other fire not in a Category I or Category II fire or a fire greater than four feet in diameter or a fire not contained within a ring or fire resistive material.

(f) “Category IV fire” means a fire, other than a Category I fire, that can be kindled between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. whether raining or not.

(g) “Commercial Burning” means the on-site burning of permissible material, by a contractor or a person using hired help, where no other means of disposal is available such as, but not limited to, chipping or hauling to an approved disposal site.

(h) “Completely Extinguished” means to extinguish so that it emits no smoke, heat or flames.

(i) “Enclosed Container” means any such purpose-built device, container, or vessel so constructed as to be completely enclosed by solid fire resistive material, attached to a stack or chimney, and capable or regulating fire draft and constructed as a solid fuel appliance. Such approved devices are exempt from the inspections or permits required under this section.

(j) “Fire Permit” means DRED form 5601 issued for a Category I, II, III or IV fire.

(k) “Covered Ground with snow” means the area within a 100 foot radius from the fire edge is covered with snow or other frozen precipitation sufficient to prevent the combustion of woodland fuels for the duration of the fire.

(l) “Hardward Cloth” means a screen like material made of metal with opening no larger than 1/4 inch which is available for purchase at most hardware stores.

(m) “Open Burning” means the burning of any material wherein products of combustion are emitted directly into the ambient air without passing through a stack or chimney from an enclosed container.

(n) “Portable Fireplaces” means devices such as chimeneas, steel fire pits, and any other device designed to burn permissible combustibles other than gas or charcoal.

(o) “Raining” means sustained precipitation that is actively occurring of sufficient intensity and duration so as to prevent fire from spreading in woodland fuels.

(p) “Seasonal Permit” means a permits issued on an annual basis for a Category I fire.

(q) “Stack” means a manufactured or field constructed chimney for non-residential use made of solid masonry units, bricks, stones, reinforced portland cement, one or more metal walls, or made of metal with a refractory lining, or any suitable chimney lining that is capable of withstanding the flue gas conditions or its use, connected to the appliance in an air tight manner and of such height as to properly regulate draft and control the emission of sparks.

Res 5601.02 Fire Permit Issuing
(a) Except as provided in this section, no person other than a forest fire warden shall issue fire permits.
(b) The director shall authorize others to issue fire permits after recommendation by the forest fire warden.
(c) Category IV fire permits shall be issued jointly by a forest ranger and forest fire warden, or in lieu of the forest fire warden, the authorized issuing agent.

Res 5601.03 Category I, II and III Fire Permit.

(a) A forest fire warden or authorized issuing agent shall issue a category I, II, III fire permit indicating the following.

(1) The name of the permittee;
(2) The land owner name and address, if different than the permittee;
(3) The location where fire is to be kindled;
(4) The date(s) the fire is authorized to occur and the specific time;
(5) The category the fire permit is for;
(6) The name of the forest fire warden or authorized issuing agent;
(7) The town of the forest fire warden or authorizing agent; and
(8) The date the fire permit was issued to the permittee.

Res 5601.04 Category IV Fire Permit
(a) A forest ranger and forest fire warden, or in lieu of the forest fire warden, the authorized issuing agent shall issue a Category IV fire permit indicating the following:

(1) The name, address and telephone number of the company;
(2) The name and telephone number of the company’s agent;
(3) The grid location where the fire is to be burned;
(4) The date(s) the fire is authorized to occur and the specific time;
(5) The burning location and the materials to be burned;
(6) The name and telephone number of the forest fire warden to notify each day before burning, if permit is issued for more than one day;
(7) A list of firefighting equipment required at burning location;
(8) The name and town of the forest ranger and forest fire warden, or in lieu of the forest fire warden, the authorized issuing agent; and
(9) The date the fire permit was issued to the permittee.

(b) Prior to being issued a permit, the company’s agent shall be required to provide the company’s name, the town the burning location is in, and their signature on the fire permit.

Res 5601.05 Charcoal Fires- Charcoal fires in a container off the ground kindled by the landowner or with his written permission and all controlled camp stoves shall not require a fire permit.

Res 5601.06 Age Limit- No permit shall be issued to any person under the age of 18 years.

Res 5601.07 Permit Restrictions- A written fire permit shall be summarily suspended pursuant to RSA 541-A:30, III, if any of the following fire permit restrictions are violated:

(a) If a fire is kindled, or material is burned between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. unless it is actually raining, except commercial permits.

(b) If a fire is kindled, or material is burned which is in nonconformance with permit information provided for by Res 5601.02 (c).

(c) If a fire is kindled, or a material is burned during unfavorable weather conditions or when a proclamations closing the woodlands is in force. Unfavorable weather conditions shall include, but are not limited to, wind, lack of precipitation, or any other factor which could increase the fire hazard.

(d) If a fire is kindled, or a material is burned, when specified assistance or suppression equipment is not present to control the fire.

(e) If permittee fails to keep the fire under control, or if the director, the director’s authorized agents, or warden feel that the material being burned is causing an unusual hazard endangering life and/or property.

(f) If material being burned violated any state law, rule, local ordinance or New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services rules regarding open burning.

(g) If a fire is left unattended at any time prior to it being completely extinguished.

(h) If fires are kindled or material burned closer than 50 feet from any structure and if provisions are not made to prevent a fire from spreading to within 50 feet of a structure unless a fire is in an enclosed container in which case it shall not be closer than 25 feet from any structure.

Res 5601.05 Commercial Burning Permits- Commercial burning permits shall be issued jointly by a forest ranger and warden, or issuing agent for the kindling of a fire or burning of material between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. whether it is raining or not.

New Hampshire Code of Administrative Rules
Res 5602 – Camp and Cooking Fires

Res 5602.01 Campfire Permit Public Places
(a) Agents and/or operators of publicly owned camp or picnic grounds shall obtain an annual written fire permit from the town forest fire warden for use of outside fireplaces.

(b) Fireplaces referenced in (a) above shall:

* (1) Be on an area cleaned to mineral soil at least 8 feet across;
* (2) Have at least 6 inches of sand or gravel under the fire for any fire built on the ground;
* (3) Have no limbs or other burnable material to a height of 10 feet above the fireplace area; and
* (4) Be constructed so they cannot be moved from their mineral soil area.

Res 5602.02 Campfire Permit Private Places
(a) Owners of privately owned camp or picnic grounds shall obtain an annual written permit from the town forest fire warden for use of approved outdoor fireplaces or other camp or cooking fires used in the operation of the camp or picnic ground.

(b) Fireplaces referenced in (a) above shall be the same as 5602.01 (b) (1-4)

Res 5602.03 Charcoal Fires- Charcoal fires in a container off the ground kindled by the landowner or with his/her written permission and all controlled camp stoves shall not require a permit.

Res 5602.04 Cooking Fires- Cooking fire authorized by written permission of the appropriate forest fire warden may be kindled at any time whether it is raining or not.

New Hampshire Code of Administrative Rules
Res 5603 – Disposal Sites

Res 5603.01 Authorization for Burning
(a) In addition to any other permits that might be required, written authorization in advance shall be obtained from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services for burning by cities and towns of untreated wood and dimension lumber from the demolition of buildings, leaves and brush 5 inches in diameter or less which originates from within the state.
(b) All burning authorized under this section shall be conducted in conformity with the provisions of New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services rules Env-A 1000.
(c) A burning permit pursuant to RSA 227-L:17, II shall be required for all burning authorized under this section.

Res 5603.02 Fire Line Definition
(a) A fire line consisting of a strip at least 8 feet wide, cleared to mineral soil, shall be constructed and maintained around the brush dump site to prevent fire from spreading into adjacent areas. The fire line shall be located not less than 50 feet nor more than 100 feet from the burn area.

(b) If physical conditions exist which would make such fire line construction unfeasible, the construction of the fire line shall not be required. Such physical conditions shall include, but are not limited to hedges, swamps, marshes, roads and ledges.

(c) All growth, including trees, brush, and slash, shall be removed from the area inside the fire line. Slash shall also be removed for a distance of 50 feet outside the fire line.

(d) The area inside the fire line shall be burned over periodically whenever there is sufficient amount of grass, weeds, brush, debris, and other flammable material to communicate fire. Other areas, as stated in paragraph (b) of this section, above where the fire line construction is unfeasible, shall also be burned over a distance of 100 feet from the burn area if it, too, bears a sufficient amount of such growth and material to communicate fire.

Res 5603.03 Precautions
(a) On all brush burning disposal areas, an attendant shall be on duty at all times while active burning is in process.

(b) When a ban on open fires has been declared, brush disposal areas may only be burned at times when fire protection is provided to keep the fire under control and keep from spreading, as determined by the forest fire warden or a forest ranger.

Res 5603.04 Rule Violation- The local forest fire warden and/or forest ranger shall bring to the attention of the selectmen, mayors of cities or towns and city managers, any violation of these rules so that expeditious corrective action shall be effective.

Commercial Permits

The Forest Ranger and the local Warden are needed to issue a commercial permit when no other means of disposal of material is available, such as chipping, hauling to a landfill or other methods of legal disposal.

The commercial permit is for contractors who use hired help for the burning of the material between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and only needed when the ground is not covered with snow.

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. Failure for the permittee to follow these requirements or any other restrictions of the fire permit will result in the permit to burn, being summarily suspended.