Burn Permit Requests

For Burn Permit requests please visit the Stratham Volunteer Fire Department website or call the on duty officer at (603) 583-3149

Class 1A class 1 day is a forest fire is not likely to start (LOW).
Class 2A 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.
Class 3A class 3 day the fire danger is HIGH, and fine fuels in open areas and sunny slopes may spread rapidly.
Class 4A class 4 day the fire danger is VERY HIGH, and fires will start easily from all causes. Fires will spread rapidly meaning they will be hard to extinguish. Spot fires may occur and, except in Spring, will burn deep.
Class 5

A class 5 day the fire 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.

Fire Permits:

State law and local ordinances require a fire permit for any outside fire when the ground is not completely covered with snow. This includes brush, camp or cooking fires, and ornamental (chimney) fires. This does not include charcoal or gas-fueled fires in containers supported above the ground.

The fire permit law (R.S.A. 227-L:17) is a misdemeanor, and violations may result in up to a $2000.00 fine and/or up to a year in jail. Whether a fire is permitted or not, the fire department may charge extinguishment expenses to the responsible party if the fire contains prohibited materials, is at an unauthorized place or time, is left unattended or escapes control. Further, any property damage as the result of any fire (permitted or not) is considered the liability of the person responsible for that fire.

There are many other fire prevention codes which apply to open fires. For more information, you may wish to contact the local fire department for an inspection of your brush pile or burning device before you request a fire permit. To assist you with your decision to request a fire permit from the local Forest Fire Warden, we have prepared a short list of questions that you may want to ask yourself before you decide to have that fire.

Information Needed Before Issuing A Burning Permit:

  • What is going to be burned?

Material must be clean, untreated wood or brush. Brush cannot exceed 5 inches in diameter.

  • Where is it going to be burned?

How far from the nearest structure, trees and dead vegetation or overhead phone or power lines? Fires should be no closer than 50 feet from an occupied structure, or 25 feet if in an approved container such as a chimney or other ornamental fireplace.

  • When do you want to burn?

No burning is permitted between 9:00am and 5:00pm unless raining. Exceptions are small camp or cooking fires, and brush when the ground is completely covered with snow in the area surrounding the burn pile.

  • Is material to be burned material resulting from the construction or demolition of buildings?

All demolition material must be separated and removed from the site so that only the clean untreated wood is to be burned. (In Stratham, building codes require a dumpster on site of construction and renovation, so this will most like preclude any such burning)

  • What is available for fire protection? A hose, shovel or rake, or bucket of water should be available at the fire.

You are liable for the costs of extinguishing the fire if it escapes your control.

  • How much help will you have during the burn?

Your fire must be attended at all times, or completely extinguished.

  • Do you own the land where you plan to burn?

If not, do you have written permission from the landowner?

  • If your fire is declared a nuisance, will you be able to extinguish it?

Air Resources rules require that the fire be extinguished if one person complains about the smoke.

  • 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.

  • Be sure that your fire is completely and totally extinguished.

A buried fire is NOT considered an extinguished fire.

NOTICE! Permits issued during rain are void if the rain stops, and the fire must be completely extinguished at that time.

Commercial Permits:

The Forest Ranger and the local Warden are needed to issue a commercial permit when no other means of disposal of clean wood or brush 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 material between the hours of 9:00am and 5:00pm 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.

For a permit please contact a Fire Warden or the Fire Station at (603) 772-8215.