Gov prohibits open burning amid worsening drought conditions

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Open burning shelved amid state's worsening drought (United Fire Authority photo)

CONCORD - Given the worsening of drought conditions throughout the state, Gov. Sununu today issued a proclamation prohibiting kindling of any open fire and smoking in or near woodlands statewide.

With "low water levels in many communities, and an increasing potential for wildfires, there is great concern that wildfires could unexpectedly and rapidly increase thereby endangering life and property," the governor said in a statement.

Effective immediately, the following are prohibited:

  • kindling of open fire, including fires built for camping, the burning of debris, or warming, on all public trails or other public property, excluding campgrounds

  • kindling of category 3 "campfires;" a fire greater than 4 feet in diameter or a fire not contained within a ring of fire resistant material

  • smoking a pipe, cigar and/or cigarette outdoors in or near public woodlands or on public trails

  • kindling of category 1 & 2 "campfires;" not contained within a ring of fire restrictive material or in a portable fire place.

A letter attached to the proclamation directs the Division of Forests and Lands to enforce the prohibition. Updated guidance will come from the Division of Lands and the Division of Homeland Security.

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