Wilton Burn-Permit Policy

It’s the Law

Smokey Bear


March 30, 2020

We are back to "normal" issuing burn permits on the weekends at the Fire Station. The Town Hall continues to be closed therefore the only time we are issuing is Saturday and Sunday, 1600-1700 as we usually do. We are setting up a table outside and practicing social distancing and hygiene, thanks.


Do you have one of these?

chiminea chimney

If you intend to use one of these, something similar or a traditional pit in the ground then you need to obtain a Fire permit.

You need to be aware of the surface it is placed upon and the distance of a minimum of 25 feet away from any other structure is required!



What am I allowed to burn?

Wood, leaves or brush less than 5 inches in diameter or untreated wood and dimension lumber. Please be advised that all outdoor burning in the State of NH is subject to NHDES Open Burning Rules.
Stumps, painted or treated lumber, tires, plastics, foam rubber, household garbage and shingles are some of the materials that are prohibited from burning.

How do I obtain a permit to burn?

Burn permits may be obtained from the Town Clerk's Office from an issuing agent during normal business hours or at the Fire Department from the Warden or a Deputy Warden on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays between the hours of 4PM and 5PM. Please keep in mind that burn permits have to be applied for each and every day burning is to occur. Seasonal permits are not issued in the Town of Wilton due to varying weather conditions each day.

You MUST be at least 18 years of age to obtain a written burn permit.

When is outdoor burning allowed?


Outdoor burning with a valid permit is allowed from 5 PM on the day of issue through 9 AM the following day. Per State law, burning outside of these hours is not allowed unless it is actually raining, and the individual has a valid burn permit. If it stops raining, the fire must be completely extinguished.

The permittee is required to have adequate fire suppression on site while burning is being done and the fire will have to be totally extinguished or constantly attended. If it is determined by any Fire Department officer that an unsafe condition exists of any outdoor fire then it shall be completely extinguished immediately.

An individual kindling the fire is liable for all costs of extinguishment if necessary and may be subject to a fine up to $2,000 and/or up to one year in jail if found to be in violation of NH State burning laws.

In certain instances, the State of NH will issue bans on outdoor burning due to unusually dry or windy conditions. Additionally, the Fire Department or Town Forest Fire Warden may also suspend permits in the interest of public safety. When such conditions are met, any permit issued prior to the ban will be rescinded and considered null and void.

More information regarding daily Fire Danger Levels may be found here:
NH Daily Fire Danger

Can I obtain a burn permit if I rent property?

Burn permits will be issued only to the owner of the property. Property owners may designate permission in writing to a specific individual allowing them to apply for a permit on their behalf. A letter signed by the property owner shall be kept on file (for each calendar year) at both the Town Clerk's Office and the Fire Department. It is the land owners’ responsibility to withdraw the permission of the individual should it no longer be in effect.

When are burn permits not required?

Permits are required for all burning with the exception of when there is at least two inches of complete snow coverage for 100 feet surrounding the site. ONLY in this circumstance is the property owner/designee not required to have a burn permit.

Gas grills or charcoal fires in a container up and off the ground on your own property do not require a fire permit.

PRIOR TO BURNING land owners or their designee are required to call the Milford Area Communication Center (MACC base) at 673-1414 to notify them of burning.

Thanks for your anticipated adherence to these policies.

Donald R. Nourse
Wilton Forest Fire Warden

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