New Hampshire's Drought Has Elevated Wildfire Risk

Jul 6, 2020

Credit Sam Evans-Brown/NHPR

Moderate drought conditions across New Hampshire have elevated the risk of wildfire.

The N.H. Forest Protection Bureau and the N.H. Fire Marshal’s Office say dry weather has increased the amount of potential fuel that can easily ignite and become a wildfire.

They’re asking residents and visitors “to pay extra attention to how their summertime activities might unintentionally start a wildfire.”

New Hampshire experiences 200 wildfires on an average year. Ninety percent of those have human causes, including campfires, unattended cooking fires, and fireworks.

“While summer is a fun season, every year people are injured and property is damaged because of individuals who are not aware that their activities can lead to wildfire incidents,” says State Fire Marshal Paul J. Parisi.

Forest Protection Bureau Chief Steven Sherman says one of the best ways to help control loss caused by wildfires is to obtain a fire permit before you start your burn.

“Fire permits give local first responders the opportunity to inform the public about current fire conditions in the area and whether or not it is safe to burn that day,” he says.  

In New Hampshire, fire permits are required for all open outdoor burning, which includes debris fires, campfires and bonfires.