STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE BURNING RULES AND REGULATIONS
"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.
Category I Fire is a camp or cooking fire no greater
than 2 ft. in diameter contained within a fire resistive
Category I fire must be at least 25’ from structures.
This would also include commercially made fire pits,
chimineas and outdoor fireplaces. These fires may be
kindled at any time, conditions permitting.
Category II Fire is a camp or cooking fire no greater
than 4 ft. in diameter contained within a fire resistive
ring. A Category II or greater fire must be at least 50’
from structures. These fires may only be kindled between
the hours of 5:00 pm and 9:00 am, unless it is actively
raining or the ground is snow covered.
Category III Fire means any other fire that is greater
than 4 ft. in diameter or not contained in a fire
resistive ring, such as an open brush/debris pile fire.
These fires may only be kindled between the hours of
5:00 pm and 9:00 am, unless it is actively raining or
the ground is snow covered.
Brush and wood cannot exceed 5 inches in diameter. No
household waste, treated wood or composite materials may
be burned. Only clean, untreated and non-contaminated
wood may be burned. No construction debris may be
Even when it is actively raining a permit is always
When the ground is snow-covered, a permit is NOT
Permittee must be at least 18 years old, and the legal
landowner or have the landowner’s written approval.
accelerants, tires, or tubes are to be used in the
material being burned.
All open fires shall be constantly attended until the
fire is completely extinguished. A buried fire is not
“Completely extinguished” means to be extinguished so
that it emits no smoke, heat, or flames.
Permittee must have proper suppression equipment to
maintain control of the fire at all times.
Incinerator permits are no longer allowed, per RSA
WHO CAN ISSUE A BURNING PERMIT?
Only the local forest fire warden, deputy forest fire
wardens or issuing agent may issue burning permits. The
Captain Mike Wolfe of the Pittsfield Fire Department is the
Town forest fire warden and deputy forest fire wardens
consist of the Fire Department officers.
HOW DO I OBTAIN A PERMIT?
Permits can be obtained at the Pittsfield Fire
Department, 33 Catamount Rd, Monday through Friday between
the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM. For Saturday and Sunday,
contact the Fire Department @ 435-6807 leave your name,
number and address for the duty crew. There is no charge for
obtaining a permit.
MOST WEEKENDS THERE ARE NO ISSUING AGENTS ON DUTY. THE DUTY
CREW WILL MAKE ATTEMPTS TO CONTACT THE WARDEN OR DEPUTY
WARDEN TO ISSUE FIRE PERMITS.
RESIDENTS ARE URGED TO
MAKE ARRAIGNMENTS DURING MONDAY – FRIDAY BUSINESS HOURS TO
OBTAIN A FIRE PERMIT
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
All smoke complaints are
investigated by the Fire Department or a Fire Department
officer. If the smoke condition is determined to be
excessive or unacceptable by the Fire Department the fire
must be extinguished and the permit will be revoked.
From time to time a burning ban may be
issued by either the State of New Hampshire or the Town fire
warden/fire chief as a result of unusually dry or high wind
conditions. Any permit issued prior to the ban will be
rescinded and considered null and void.
The fire warden or deputy fire warden may issue a
seasonal permit for camping and cooking fires only. Seasonal
permits run to the end of the calendar year and are subject
to the same restrictions as regular permits. Seasonal
permits cannot be issued for brush or leaves due to varying
daily weather conditions. Individuals holding a seasonal
permit must still from time to time contact the Pittsfield
Fire Department during regular business hours, or check the
daily fire danger and weather to verify that a burning ban
is not in effect and make notification of their intent to
use their seasonal permit on that particular day.
COMMERCIAL BURNING PERMITS
Commercial burning permits
for special situations may be issued to businesses or
contractors by the Regional Forest Ranger and the local fire
chief. The decision to issue a commercial burning permit is
made on a case by case basis. Residential homeowners are not
eligible for commercial burning permits.
If in the opinion of any Fire Department
officer or member that an unsafe condition exists due to
outside burning the fire must be extinguished immediately.
Failure to do so may result in a criminal citation and/or
reimbursement to the Town of Pittsfield for all
Should you have any questions,
please contact Michael Wolfe, Forest Fire Warden at the fire
station at 435-6807.