On April 8, 2020

State warns against open fires

Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation hopes to reduce the risk of wildland fires during the COVID-19 emergency, by strongly advising the public to postpone all outdoor burning through at least May 30, 2020. The advisory came out April 3.

Open burning creates the risk of an escaped fire and puts pressure on emergency personnel. Given that Vermont is currently experiencing community-wide spread of COVID-19, there is a need to minimize any additional pressure on emergency personnel both in terms of response and unnecessary contact with people who may be contagious.

To date, very few wild fires have been reported in Vermont this year. However, April and May are historically the most active months for wild fires in the state, and most of these fires occur as a result of escaped debris burns.

Looking ahead, temperatures are predicted to be above average and precipitation below normal through mid-April. Thus, the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation’s Wildland Fire Program anticipates this spring  could be an active fire season.

Vermont’s town forest fire wardens have the statutory authority to stop issuing burn permits and many fire wardens throughout the state have taken this precautionary step. Please check in with your local fire warden and be considerate and patient when assessing the need to conduct any open burning.

The Vermont Wildland Fire Program appreciates the public’s support in fire prevention and reducing the need for unnecessary emergency response during the COVID-19 pandemic.  For more info or to locate fire wardens, visit

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