North Hampton Fire & Rescue


Fire Permits

Laws and Regulations

Per RSA 227-L:17, the state of New Hampshire requires anyone who wishes to burn clean, ordinary combustibles, or brush, or have a camp or cooking fire to have written permission from the landowner and a written fire permit from the local forest fire warden or local fire department in the town or city where the fire will be kindled.

For a synopsis of the rules and answers to
commonly asked questions

Where do I obtain a Fire Permit?
Fire Permits are obtained locally through the Forest Fire Warden, Deputy Warden’s and Issuing Agents. You can contact your Town Office or Fire Department to find out who your town Forest Fire Warden is. 

How much does a Fire Permit cost?
There is no cost to obtain a written fire permit from a Warden, Deputy Warden or Issuing Agent.

When is a Fire Permit Required?
A Fire Permit is required anytime you would like to burn.

What time can a fire be kindled?
Fires may only be kindled after 5:00 p.m. and must be extinguished before 9:00 a.m. 

There are two exemptions to this:

 1: When the Forest Fire Warden determines that conditions are appropriate Category I (Campfire) permits may allow for a small (under 2 foot diameter) fire to be burned during the day. 

 2: When there is continuous rain fall, however, the fire must be extinguished when the rain stops and depending on what town you are burning in, there may be some variances to these times. A Fire Permit is still required when it is raining.

Remember, Wildfires burn more than just trees!

What can be burned?
Clean, untreated wood and brush.

Material must be no greater than 5 inches in diameter.

What cannot be burned?
Combustible domestic waste as defined by RSA-125N, including, but not limited to:

Household trash, Packaging Material, Plastic, Coated or laminated paper, Rubber, Painted or treated wood, Coated or treated cardboard, Oily rags, Animal, vegetable and kitchen waste, Treated wood or composite materials, Plastic and Treated Wood are examples of what you cannot burn.

Protecting our clean air is everyone's responsibility.

Fire Permits are broken down into four Categories

Category I Fire
A small controlled fire, such as a camp or cooking fire.

Must be contained within a ring of fire resistive material or in a portable fire place

Cannot be greater than 2 feet in diameter. 

Must be at least 25 feet from a structure.

When conditions allow, a Category I Fire may be kindled at any time of day whether raining or not. 

Category I permits may be issued as a seasonal permit, but may be suspended if the Forest Fire Warden determines fire conditions to be too high.

Category II Fire
A controlled fire, such as a camp or cooking fire.

Must be contained within a ring of fire resistive material or in a portable fire place

Cannot be greater than 4 feet in diameter.

Must be at least 50 feet from a structure.

When conditions allow, a Category II Fire may only be kindled between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. unless it is actually raining.

Category II permits may be issued as a seasonal permit, but may be suspended if the Forest Fire Warden determines fire conditions to be too high. 

Site Preparation for Category I and II Fires

Category III Fire
A controlled fire greater than 4 feet in diameter or

A controlled fire not contained within a ring of fire resistive material.

Must be at least 50 feet from a structure.

When conditions allow, a Category III Fire may only be kindled between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. unless it is actually raining.

Category III permits are typically issued for no more than one to three days depending on weather conditions.


Category IV Fire
A controlled fire larger than a Category I Fire.

May be kindled during the day between the hours of 9:00 a.m and 5:00 p.m. even if it is not raining.

The permittee must comply with additional, special provisions to qualify for a Category IV Permit.

A Category IV Permit is issued jointly between the Forest Ranger and the Forest Fire Warden.