Open Burning/Burn Permits
Open burning in Maine and Windham requires an Open Burning Permit issued by the State of Maine through the Windham Fire-Rescue Department. Windham may not issue permits on certain days because of staff shortages, special events that are occurring, or situations where personnel are committed to department activities and there is no one to issue or approve requested permits. Restrictions do not apply to propane or charcoal grills, cooking fires and campfires that are less than 2x2x2 in size.
How To Obtain A Permit
Burn Permits are only issued for the current calendar day.
There are two ways to obtain an open burn permit:
- Online Through Windham Complete the form and submit it to the department for approval. If your street is not listed in the street list then your area is not allowed to have open burning.
- At A Fire Station Go to the either the Public Safety Building/Central Fire Station or the North Windham fire station and complete the form there. Issuing hours for Open Burning Permits are 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. on days that the department is issuing.
After Obtaining A Permit
People should read their permits carefully as they contain information that is important to the open burning laws. Maine Forest Service, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and the Environmental Protection Agency have had input on the rules and regulations of the open burning laws. There are restrictions on what can and cannot be burned in open burning.
Some other factors that impact open burning are the neighborhoods. Some areas of our community have buildings that are very close to one another. The smoke causes a nuisance and aggravates health problems for the people that live in these areas. When these conditions are present Maine laws allows for local fire departments to prohibit open burning in the area of the problem. Windham has such areas that restrict burn permits to the fourth weekend of the month in Brookhaven, Varney Mill Estates, Pinewood Acres, Tall Pines, and an area in Cottage Road in East Windham. If you are unsure if you live in a restricted area call 207-892-1911 and we can provide you with the needed information.
When Can You Burn
The Maine Forest Service provides fire departments a weather advisory called "Class Days" between 8 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. daily from April through October. The class days are prepared based on the dryness of the ground fuels, grass conditions, fine fuel moisture of the products on the ground, wind speeds, rainfall amounts, and other weather factors. Burning permits are valid until Midnight.
Windham issues open burning permits on Low and Moderate Days as long as winds are below 10 mph.
- Low Fire Danger day is the best for open burning.
- Moderate Fire Danger day means it is okay but not the best of days to burn.
- High Fire Danger burning permits are not issued, cooking and warming fires use caution.
- Very High Fire Danger Day is dangerous and the Maine Forest Service advises that no permits should be issued
- EXTREME Fire Danger Day is issued when the forest service advises the governor that no open burning should be allowed because of extreme conditions and the governor issues a proclamation.
A RED FLAG warning may also be issued for any fire danger day when winds are too high. In this case burning permits will not be issued.
Don't Burn Without A Permit
Burning without a permit is a misdemeanor and wastes our emergency response resources and your tax dollars. The fire department does not want you to spend your hard earned money in the judicial system of Maine. This year as in past years, department personnel will be providing information on the first response for burning without a permit. If we are required to respond for a second incident then we will be requesting the Maine Forest Service or Windham Police to issue a summons for the appropriate violations.
*****ALL FIRES MUST BE COMPLETELY EXTINGUISHED
BEFORE LEAVING THE AREA*****
Failure to extinguish could result in a Law Enforcement Summons