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Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why can I only burn after 5pm?
Over 90% of all wildfires in Maine occur between 9am and 5pm, when the temperatures are warmest the wind picks up and the relative humidity drops. Since the "wait to burn until after 5pm" policy has been in effect, there has been a significant decrease in escaped debris burns.
2. Can I request an online burn permit on a Thursday for the upcoming weekend?
No, you only have until 9am the following day to complete your burn. This is because the weather could change and the predicted fire danger rating could increase to a HIGH fire danger rating. Please note, online burn permits are only valid during a low or moderate fire rating.
3. Can I still get a hand written burn permit from my local Town Fire Warden at no cost?
The online burn permit system was designed to provide a convenient way to obtain a burn permit from your computer or cell phone. You can still get a hand written burn permit from your local Town Fire Warden for free. If you live in an unorganized township, you can get a hand written burn permit from the nearest Ranger station or Regional office without charge.
4. Can this system be used to request campfire permits for authorized permit sites?
No, this system is only for burning brush, wood debris and grass/agricultural fields. Contact the nearest MFS Regional office for information on obtaining campfire permits.
5. What if I am unsure of what is allowable to burn in my burn pile?
The rules/guidelines for allowable open burning in Maine are posted on the Maine Forest Service website, Rules and Regulations. Please refer to these or call the Maine Forest Service or your local fire department for more information. In general, you cannot burn trash, paint, metal, plastic or pressure treated wood (i.e., anything that creates unhealthy smoke).
6. When I request an online burn permit, how many people are notified?
If the local Town Fire Warden has logged onto the system and entered his/her email address, they will be notified. The local Forest Ranger, MFS Regional Headquarters and Regional Communication Centers will also have access to the system to monitor online burn permits.
7. I would like a hard copy or digital file of my online burn permit. Will one be sent to me?
You will receive an emailed copy of the permit upon completion. You can also print or generate a PDF of the permit using the green "download permit" button on the confirmation page after you enter your information for the permit.
8.) Do I need a burn permit for a bonfire or other type of large recreational fire (not a brush pile fire)?
As of Oct 25, 2023, all recreational fires larger than 3 feet high and 3 feet in diameter will require burn permits.
Questions about this service? Contact the Maine Forest Service at: (800) 750-9777 or email Maine.ForestRangers@maine.gov