Summer is officially here, and If you’re planning to have a campfire under the stars, you will need to get a permit.

But what New England states require a permit for open burning? All six of them! Maine was the final New England state to enact this law as an effort to keep people and our forests safe, especially during dry spells when the risk of wildfires spikes.

According to News Center Maine, a new law called LD 24 went into effect back in October of 2023. It requires permits for campfires, bonfires, and any open burning exceeding three feet in height and three feet in diameter, as well as fires that are not for debris disposal.


Before you get all cranky, getting a fire permit is a pretty easy process. You can snag one online or from your local fire warden. After you receive the permit, here's the lowdown on what you need to do:

  • Keep your campfire small and contained within a fire ring or pit.
  • Always have a bucket of water and a shovel nearby, and remember, never leave your fire unattended.
  • Before you head to bed or leave the site, make sure to extinguish your fire completely. Stir the ashes with water until they’re cool to the touch.

As far as the size limits and other requirements and restrictions surrounding any and all open burning (such as red flag warning days), you should reference the your state's website to make sure you are following code.

Thinking about winging it in hopes of not getting caught? Depending on what state you’re in, fines range from $100 - $1,000, and you could even get arrested. Hopping on the internet for a few minutes to get a permit sounds like the way to go now, huh? Plus, there’s the whole safety thing, and it’s the law.

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