Obtaining a Burn Permit

Outdoor burning on Westport Island requires a permit obtained from the Westport Volunteer Fire Department.  (A more limited open burn permit is available online from the Maine Forest Service for $7.)  There is no cost for a permit obtained from the fire department. 

The rules for obtaining outdoor burn permits are designed to permit residents and contractors to burn yard and some construction debris (trees, brush, slash, leaves, etc...)  The overriding concern in granting these permits is personal safety and the safety of surrounding property, so granting of permits will be based on:

  • Current weather and wind conditions -- Burning is permissible on Westport Island only on Class 1 or Class 2 days
  • Availability of firefighting personnel
  • Overall ground conditions

Safety first:

  • Plan your burn
  • Ensure you have enough adults present to safely do the burn
  • Have the tools and water on hand before you begin the burn
  • Get your Burn Permit
  • Have a means of communication ready in case the fire gets out of control.

Remember:  Permitted or not – The person who started the fire is responsible for any and all damage caused by that fire.

The following information has been taken from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection Regulations Chapter 102:  OPEN BURNING

Types of burning permitted with a Burn Permit:

  1. Recreational campfires kindled when the ground is not covered in snow;
  2. Fires in conjunction with holiday and festive celebration as long as the materials conform to item 5 of this section below;
  3. Burning of solid or liquid fuels and structures for the purpose of research or bona fide instruction and training of volunteer firefighters;
  4. Burning for agricultural purposes;
  5. Out-of-door burning of wood wastes and painted* and unpainted wood from demolition in the open;
  6. Open burning of leaves, brush, deadwood and tree cuttings;
  7. Burning on site for the disposal of wood wastes and painted* and unpainted wood from construction and demolition debris;
  8. Burning of vegetative growth for hazardous abatement purposes, such as, but not limited to, the burning of grass fields;
  9. Burning for the containment or control of spills of gasoline, kerosene, heating oil or similar petroleum product;
  10. The burning of wood wastes and painted* and unpainted wood from construction and demolition debris at solid waste facilities;
  11. The burning of empty containers, including fiberboard boxes and paper bags, previously containing explosives and being disposed of in accordance with the provisions of Maine Revised Statutes Title 25, section 2472;
  12. Explosives being disposed of under the direct supervision and control of the State Fire Marshal.

When burning painted wood, “a person engaged in any renovation, remodeling, maintenance or repair project involving lead-based paint …shall take reasonable precautions to prevent the release of lead into the environment, including the clean-up, removal, and appropriate disposal of all visible lead- based paint debris generated by the project.”

Types of burning permitted without a Burn Permit if no nuisance is created:

  1. Residential use of outdoor grills and fireplaces for recreational purposes such as preparing food;
  2. Recreational campfires kindled when the ground is covered with snow or on frozen bodies of water; and
  3. Use of outdoor grills and fireplaces for recreational purposes such as preparing food at commercial campgrounds.

NOTE:  Paper or cardboard may be burned as kindling only in amounts necessary to ensure ignition of fires pursuant to the rules stated previously.

Burning of trash or non-wood materials is prohibited!  No burn-barrel burning.

If you cannot get a burn permit – you cannot burn!

Thank you!