News Releases

March 21, 2012

Officials Urge Caution with Open Burning

State officials are ramping up efforts to prevent forest fires. Unprecedented warm weather and lack of snow this winter are creating conditions that could lead to more grass, brush and forest fires. Dead grass, leaves and brush are drying out quickly and becoming available as potential fuel for forest fires.

With increasing risk of wildfires, Commissioner Michael Snyder of the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, reminds people to, “first get a permit and burn with caution”. Issued by town fire wardens, burn permits are free – but required for open burning. Only untreated, natural materials, brush and grass can be legally burned. Most wildland fires are started by escaped debris pile fires. Fire wardens are able to manage the risk of wildfires by only allowing burning when fire risk is manageable.

Dave Potter, Sharon Town Fire Warden, recommends, “in addition to following instructions on the permit, people should have a working hose and phone available before lighting a brush pile.” Burn sites should be cleared of flammable vegetation for at least ten feet from the pile.

Fire departments in many parts of Vermont are recognizing increased fire danger. Several fires have been reported, including a 50 acre grass fire in Cornwall. The National Weather Service’s extended forecast for the next two weeks shows above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation. Any precipitation that may occur during this time will dampen fuels temporarily, but a return to dry weather for even a day, will quickly dry fuels and increase the fire danger. By staying vigilant and following safe burning techniques, citizens will play an important role in preventing wildfires and the damage associated with them.

For more information:

Source: Agency of Natural Resources
Last Updated at: March 21, 2012 12:02:19