RSA 227-L;17, I & II



EVERY PERSON, firm or corporation who kindles or causes to be kindled any fire or shall burn or cause to be burned any material in or near the woodlands, or where fire could communicate to the woodlands, except when the ground is covered with snow where you are burning shall obtain a written fire permit from the forest fire warden in the town or city where the fire will be kindled.


·         Only property owners are authorized to obtain a permit.

·         A tenant or friend may obtain a permit only with written permission of the land owner.

·         The Fire Department maintains an extensive file of owner letters giving authorization to issue burn permits for their tenants. A new letter is required to be filed each year.



There are several types of permits available:


·         CATEGORY I – cooking fire no greater that 2’ in diameter.  This fire may be kindled at any time of day.  A daily or seasonal permit may be issued.

·         CATEGORY II – cooking fire no greater than 4’ in diameter.  This fire may only be kindled between 5pm and 9pm.  A daily or seasonal permit may be issued.

·         CATEGORY III – A fire other than Category I or II fires.  This fire may only be kindled between 5pm and 9pm.  Permits will only be issued the day of use. 


Only wood which is clean, not treated, painted or stained may be burned.


All open fires shall be constantly attended until the fire is completely extinguished.


Category I fires shall be kindled no closer than 25’ from any structure.

Category II and III fires shall be kindled no closer than 50’ from any structure.


You must be 18 years of age to obtain a written fire permit.


Permits may be applied for at the Bristol Fire Station, 85 Lake Street, between the hours of 8am and 5pm.  A site inspection will be made prior to a permit being issued to the property owner. 



LIABILITIES: RSA 227-L 17, V: Any person, firm or corporation causing or kindling a fire without a fire permit, when such permit is required, and any person by whose negligence or the negligence of his agents any fire is caused, shall be liable in a civil action for the payment to the town, state or United States  or any or all of the same of expenses incurred in attending or extinguishing such a fire and may be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $2,000 and/or up to one (1) year in jail, or both.  



This is a synopsis of the laws, rules and regulations contained in RSA 227-L.  For further questions, please contact your local Forest Fire Warden, Fire Department or Forest Ranger.