Dry and breezy conditions across the state have continued for
weeks, which brings with it a high risk of wildfires in Vermont. In
windy conditions, fires can spread very rapidly and become
unmanageable. Local fire departments throughout the state have
responded to several wildfires already this season.
A wildland fire in Hyde Park should serve to remind all
Vermonters that grass and brush fires can be dangerous. On
Monday, April 30 a wind-swept fire was reported to have charred
several acres, burned a garage and threatened several homes and
buildings, including the County Courthouse, which was evacuated as
a safety precaution.
State officials and local fire departments remind Vermonters
that the increased potential for wildfires necessitates certain
precautions by all. In general, debris burning is the leading cause
of wild land fires in Vermont. These fires cause property damage;
lost natural resources; and like all fires, can result in a loss of
life. Most people never intend to start a wildfire and can avoid
this by choosing a day to burn when fire danger is low - and such
days are NOT in the immediate forecast.
Persistent dry and windy weather in the state has made grass,
brush and leaves susceptible to uncontrolled fires, but common
sense and caution by all Vermonters can prevent wildfires.
Vermonters help prevent and prepare for wildfire when
• Obey all local and state laws or restrictions
on open burning. By state law, a "Permit to Kindle Fire" (an open
burning permit) MUST be obtained from the Town Forest Fire Warden
and is REQUIRED before you start to burn any natural wood or
vegetation outdoors. The fire warden will issue a permit if the
weather and fuel conditions are favorable for a controlled
• Avoid burning on dry, windy days or when Fire
Weather Watches or Red Flag Warnings are issued by the National
• If you can legally and safely burn: Burn
small piles; gradually adding to the fire as it burns
down. Large piles of burning debris generate intense heat
capable of carrying burning embers up and into other areas.
• Clear all dry grass and weeds from around your
burn area, and around your home and out-buildings.
• Always have tools handy while you burn:
including water, a hose, a rake and a shovel.
• If burning a large agricultural area, please
check with your local fire department for advice about burning it
• Call 911 or your local fire department if your
burn gets out of control and becomes a wildfire. If you delay
calling for help, you may have disastrous results. Do not attempt
to suppress a wildfire, if it cannot be done easilly with the tools
and water you have on hand.
• NEVER burn household trash. The use of burn
barrels is illegal in Vermont.
The National Weather Service has developed an open burning
weather awareness campaign at:
For more information call 802-786-3856.