According to State of New Hampshire law outlined in RSA 227-L:17 permits are required for just about all outside fires.
9:00am-5:00pm: No Burning unless Raining with Permit
5:00pm-9:00am: Burning allowed with Permit
Raining: Burning allowed with Permit during the day
Snow Cover: No Permitted Needed
RED FLAG WARNING: NO BURNING Allowed with or without a Permit
Safety comes first…on every fire…every time!
Thanks to the addition of two full-time firefighter/emergency medical technicians the process for obtaining a permit in the Town of Lee is much easier. You can stop by the station and speak with either Captain Scott Nemet or Lieutenant Jim Davis Monday through Friday between 8 AM and 4 PM. Please stop by on the day you would like to burn. If you are looking to burn on the weekend please stop in on Friday. Along with helping you conduct a safe outside burn, they will ensure you understand the rules governing outside fires.
If you can not reach someone at the fire department here are some numbers for town deputy wardens:
Town Fire Warden: Peter Hoyt, 659-7790
Deputy Fire Warden: Joe Lombardo, 659-7203
Fire Danger Classifications
Class 1- Very Low:
A day where a forest fire is not likely to start. Permits available on a Class 1 day.
Class 2- Low:
A day that the fire danger is low, but it is possible for fires to start in light, flashy fuels, but will have a slow rate of spread. Permits available on a Class 2 day.
Class 3- Moderate:
The fire danger is moderate and fine fuels in open areas and sunny slopes may spread easily. Permits issued pending conditions.
Class 4- High:
The fire danger is 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 early spring, will burn deep. Permits not available on a Class 4 day.
Class 5- Extreme:
The fire danger is extreme and small fires will spread rapidly and be difficult to extinguish. Severe spotting may occur. Permits not available on a Class 5 day.
Red Flag Warning:
No Burning Allowed
Frequently Asked Questions
When can I burn? No open burning is permitted between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm unless it is raining. If you begin burning in the rain between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, you must extinguish the fire if it stops raining and resume after 5:00 pm.
Can I ever burn without a permit? Generally, no. For any open burning a written fire permit is required - even in the rain. The only exception is when the ground is completely covered in snow. In those instances a permit is not required. If you're unsure, call the Town Fire Warden.
Are campground owners required to obtain a permit? Yes, there are special provisions for campgrounds. Public or privately owned camp or picnic grounds must obtain an annual written fire permit from the Town Forest Fire Warden for use of outside fireplaces, camp or cooking fires used in the operation of the camp or picnic grounds. Such camp or cooking fires should:
1. Be in an area cleaned to mineral soil at least eight (8) feet across
2. Have at least six (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 ten (10) feet above the fireplace area
4. Be constructed so they cannot be moved from their mineral soil area
Before requesting a permit, take a moment to ask yourself the following questions:
What can I burn? Wood debris or brush less than 5 inches in diameter, or untreated wood and dimension lumber can be burned. Air quality regulations restrict the type of material burned in the open. Stumps, painted or treated lumber, tires, tubes, plastics, foam rubber and shingles are some of the prohibited materials. For more information, visit the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services website: http://www.des.state.nh.us/
How much help will you have during the burn? Your fire must be attended at all times, or completely extinguished.
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.
Do you own the land where you plan to burn? If not, do you have written permission from the landowner?
When do you want to burn? You’ll need to know the date and time of day you plan to burn. No burning between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm unless it is raining (a permit is still required).
Will you be able to extinguish your fire if someone complains? Air pollution officials could require a fire be put out if there are smoke complaints.
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.
Are there any tires or tubes in the material to be burned? Tires, tubes, plastics, shingles, and foam rubber are just some of the prohibited materials.
~Remember... It's the law!
Any person violating the permit law and its provisions and any person who willfully or recklessly kindles a fire that endangers woodlands, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $2,000.00 and/or up to one year in jail.