To prevent forest fires in Vermont, the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation works with town Forest Fire Wardens, and partners in the following ways:
Open Burning Permits or a “Permit to Kindle Fire” regulates open burning in every town in Vermont. Town Forest Fire Wardens are responsible for issuing open burning permits if fuel and weather conditions are safe for outdoor burning. Fire Wardens have the authority to ban open burning in their towns when fire danger is high or when local conditions are hazardous.
Education. The Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) distributes fire prevention informational materials - like firewise/defensible space literature and Smokey Bear related items throughout the state - to fire departments for thier open houses, at town safety fairs, and for state park programs every year. Smokey Bear is available to attend these events upon request. The Vermont Rural Fire Protection Task Force assists FPR in public education outreach.
Open Burning Fire Weather Awareness. FPR in collaboration with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Burlington, Vermont has an active public and media awareness program that addresses human-caused ignitions. The "Open Burning Fire Weather Awareness" campaign is a week-long informational series addressing wildland fire occurrence, fuels, fire danger, Red Flag events, and fire weather forecasting. This information is also posted on the NWS Burlington website, and a media packet is distributed to area media outlets to provide them with talking points, graphics, and photos.
- Burn Bans. During periods of extended very-high to extreme fire danger or prolonged drought, FPR will consult with town forest fire wardens and cooperators for implementing statewide burn bans. Considerations used for implementing a burn ban include the current state of fuels, current weather pattern and extended forecast, level of fire occurrence, etc. In most years, town forest fire wardens have banned local burning when conditions have been hazardous until significant rainfall has occured or green-up has taken place. If the hazardous state of fuels and weather are expected to continue for an extended period of time, then, the state may issue a burn ban.