BANGOR – With burning season beginning this week, fire danger has elevated in the state of Maine.
As of Tuesday, four out of 16 counties have high risk for fire danger, according to the Maine Forestry Wildlife Report.
Some communities in southern Maine and northern New Hampshire have placed bans on open burning and have decided to not issue permits for the time being.
“Our position is that this is a local decision,” said Lt. Jeff Currier, a regional forest ranger. “We are not pushing communities to do one thing or another. We are going to be there no matter what, enforcing those laws, whether a community has said no burning or if they allow burning to continue, we’re gonna be checking permits.”
Lt. Currier says he has seen a spike in the number of permits issued so far this year, but not yet in fires.
He says the high risk isn’t unusual for the robust fire season during the months of April and May.
Currier and his colleagues are taking this all in stride, while knowing Mainers are home more often than not during the pandemic.
“Its all about preparation. Its all about self-awareness and situational awareness, checking the weather, making sure you have the right fire gear, gardening hose, hand tools, buckets of water,” said Currier. “But the most important thing is you get that permit and make sure you follow the restrictions on the permit itself.”
To obtain an open burning permit, you can go online or call your local fire officials or forest ranger.