OPEN BURNING INFORMATION
Open burning in Maine and Windham requires an Open Burning Permit issued by the State of Maine through the Windham Fire-Rescue Department. The Maine Forest Service provides fire departments a weather advisory called "Class Days" between 8:00 and 8:45a.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.
Windham issues open burning permits on Class 1 and Class 2 Days.
-Class 1 Day is the best for open burning.
-Class 2 Day means it is okay but not the best of days to burn.
Class 3 Day is a marginal day for open burning.
Class 4 Day is dangerous and the Maine Forest Service advises that no permits should be issued
Class 5 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.
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. We do not issue fire permits on Thanksgiving or Christmas.
HOW TO OBTAIN A PERMIT
There are three ways that a permit may be obtained in Windham. One way is to go on line to http://www.burningpermit.com/meWindham/, log on to the website, complete the form, and submit the form 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.
While restrictions do not apply to propane or charcoal grills, they do include cooking fires and campfires with wood products as the fuel supply.
A second way is to go to the Maine Forest website at www.maine.gov/doc/mfs/ and complete their form, which is the same as the Windham website, pay the fee for the permit and submit it to the Maine Forest Service for approval.
The third method is to go to the either North Windham or Windham Center fire stations and complete the form there. Issuing hours for Open Burning Permits are 9:00a.m.to 1:00p.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 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 892-1912 or 892-1911 and we can provide you with the needed information.
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 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.