Burn Permits - Questions and Answers

Sullivan Forest Fire Wardens - The Warden’s Corner

It has been brought to our attention that there have been several questions raised about burn permits and the regulations.

Here are the answers.
Do I need a permit if it is raining?
Yes, a permit is required for all open burning, even in the rain. A permit is required when it is raining or when the ground is not covered with snow. The only time a permit is not required is when there is adequate snow on the ground (see complete description below).

Can I burn anything without a permit?
There are two circumstances when you do not need a permit. The first is for gas grills and charcoal grills (contained and off the ground). The second is when there is complete snow cover. Complete snow cover is when the ground is covered by snow to a depth of 4 inches and 100 feet in all directions around the burn pile. If you are going to burn large brush piles during snow coverage, please contact a warden or Mutual Aid at the non-emergency number 352-1291.

What are the types of permits?
There are three, Category 1, 2 and 3.
Category 1 (“camp fires”) are 2 feet or less in diameter and contained. Category 2 fires (“fire pits”) are 2 to 4 feet in diameter and contained.
Category 3 fires (“brush piles”) are greater than 4 feet in diameter and uncontained. Fire suppression equipment is required to be on site before permits are issued.

When can I burn? 
It will specify on the permit, but Category 1 fires may be kindled any time of day and Category 2 and 3 fires are from 5 PM to 9 AM. These hours are fire weather permitting.

How do I know when there are unsafe weather conditions to burn?Category 3 permits are issued on the day of the burn or just prior, so if there are unsafe weather conditions, the warden or deputy will not issue a permit.
For Category 1 and 2 permits, Sullivan only allows burning on Class 1 and Class 2 days. Seasonal permits for residents for Category 1 and 2 fires are available and may allow burning to a Class 3 day. The Fire Warden has the
authority to restrict burning and impose rules that are more stringent than the State’s Fire Permit Rules.

What can I burn? - Untreated wood and vegetation only under 5 inches in diameter. ANYTHING else is illegal to burn and you can be fined if you are caught burning it.

There are four people in town who can issue permits and answer your questions:
Al Henry, Warden - 847-9598
Mike Blanchard - Deputy 847-9680
Rick Plankey - Deputy 757-6796
Erik Kazlouskas - Deputy 903-2881

When can I get a burn permit?
Call any of the above listed people from 9 AM to 8 PM. Because we all work,
Wardens will issue permits as personal schedules allow. Yes, people may call a day early. Issuing permits is very weather sensitive; people may call and check, but depending on conditions we may not be able to issue a permit early.

Can Mutual Aid grant a permit?
No. Two other important things to know. First, fire must be attended at all times. Attended does not mean you are in the house watching from a window. Attended means you are with the fire. Second, fires must be completely out when you are done with them. Out means completely extinguished (not buried). If you could put your hand in it, then it is out. If in doubt, add more water. If you have any questions, your warden and deputy wardens will be happy to answer them.