With all of New Hampshire experiencing abnormally dry or moderate drought conditions, the New Hampshire Forest Protection Bureau and the New Hampshire Fire Marshall’s Office are asking all residents and visitors to New Hampshire to pay extra attention to how their summertime activities might unintentionally start a wildfire.
Ninety percent of wildfires in New Hampshire are caused by human factors, including campfires, unattended cooking fires, and fireworks. The state experiences 200 wildfires on average each year, with a total of 200-250 acres impacted.
Dry conditions throughout the region have increased the quantity of available fuels that can easily ignite and quickly become a wildfire. A single ember from a campfire or an errant spark from fireworks landing on dried grass, leaves, or other combustible items can ignite and become a wildfire that results in property damage, personal injury, or even loss of life.
“While summer is a fun season, every year people are injured and property is damaged because of individuals who are not aware that their activities can lead to wildfire incidents,” said State Fire Marshal Paul J. Parisi. “One of the best ways to help control loss caused by wildfires in New Hampshire is by obtaining a fire permit before you start your burn,” said Forest Protection Bureau Chief Steven Sherman. “Fire permits give local first responders the opportunity to inform the public about current fire conditions in the area and whether or not it is safe to burn that day.”
In New Hampshire, fire permits are required for all open outdoor burning, which includes debris fires, campfires, and bonfires. Seasonal permits are available for specific locations that may have recurring fires, such as home fire pits and campgrounds. The permits are available online at nhfirepermit.com.
The New Hampshire Forest Protection Bureau is part of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources’ Division of Forests and Lands, which protects and promotes the value provided by trees, forests and natural communities. For more information about the Division of Forests and Lands and the work of its Forest Protection Bureau, visit nh.gov/nhdfl or call 603-271-2214.
The New Hampshire Fire Marshall’s Office (NHFMO) is part of the Department of Safety, and works to save lives and property through education, engineering, and enforcement in relation to fire and life safety. For more information about the NHFMO, visit nh.gov/firesafety or call 603-223-4289.