New Hampshire offering online fire permit program

CONCORD – For those people wishing to have a campfire, dispose of a pile of brush or cook over an open wood fire, there is a new and easier way to get the required permit.

In New Hampshire, fire permits are required by law for all outside burning when the ground isn’t covered with snow. These permits are issued by the forest fire wardens and deputies in each community.

On average, more than 100,000 fire permits are issued across the state each year, mostly in paper format. However, an online fire permit system has been developed and tested over the last two years by several communities.

Currently, more than 100 communities are taking part in the program, and individuals are encouraged to check with their local fire departments to see if their town is participating.

The website for online permits is An applicant can follow the tutorial and review the laws and associated rules for open burning.

There is a $3 user fee for obtaining the fire permit through the online system, which offsets the costs of development, as no state funds were used.

Depending on the community, Category I, II, and III permits may be obtained, as well as seasonal Category I and II permits. More information is available at your community fire department and at

"Fire permitting has long been an excellent public safety and fire prevention tool," said Brad Simpkins, director of the Division of Forests and Lands. "We are delighted to be able to offer this new online fire permitting option to communities and permit applicants."

Written fire permits will continue to be available at no charge from the forest fire wardens in each community.

"The system has been well received," said Forest Ranger Capt. Bryan Nowell, with more than 2,700 permits being sold electronically already this year. "The system is obviously growing in popularity, and we expect more communities to request activation in the next few months."

Individuals with questions or wishing to offer feedback regarding the system may call the state Division of Forests and Lands-Forest Protection Bureau at 271-2214.