New Open Burning Law in Maine Requires Permits for Larger Campfires

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Maine Forest Service

October 24, 2023

New Open Burning Law in Maine Requires Permits for Larger Campfires

AUGUSTA – To enhance fire safety and prevent wildfires, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) is implementing a new law that mandates burn permits for larger campfires. The law, LD 24, goes into effect on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, and will impact fires that exceed 3 feet in height and 3 feet in diameter that are not for debris disposal. Notably, permits for burning brush and wood debris remain unaffected and are still required under the existing regulations. The new law also makes it unlawful for burning outdoors during red flag warning days.

Maine residents and visitors planning fires larger than the specified dimensions, often referred to as "bonfires," will be required to obtain burn permits. These permits are available free of charge and can be secured online after 9 a.m. at

This new regulation aims to mitigate the risk of larger campfires getting out of control and causing wildfires. By requiring permits for this type of fire, the state hopes to ensure fire safety measures are in place, reducing the potential for fire-related emergencies.

Spearheaded by DACF's Maine Forest Service (MFS), Maine Forest Rangers launched an informational campaign to create public awareness about this significant change. An awareness campaign will continue through Spring 2024. The Rangers are actively engaging with communities across the state to educate and inform the public about the new law.

  • Rangers have distributed brochures and displayed informative posters at various events, including recent Fire Prevention Week open houses.
  • A poster detailing the law's specifics is available as a downloadable PDF on the DACF Forest Protection Division webpage.
  • The MFS worked closely with InforME (Information Resource of Maine) to update the online burn permit system to accommodate the changes necessitated by LD 24.

The MFS is committed to answering any questions and addressing concerns from the public regarding this new law. For additional information and updates regarding the new open burning law in Maine, please follow the Maine Forest Ranger and DACF Facebook pages.

For inquiries: Kent Nelson, MFS Forest Ranger Specialist, 207-287-4989.

The Maine Forest Service, a division of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, is dedicated to the stewardship and protection of the state's forests. Forest Heath and Monitoring, Forest Policy and Management, and Forest Protection teams work tirelessly to ensure the safety and well-being of Maine's residents, visitors, and natural resources. The implementation of LD 24 is a crucial step toward promoting responsible open burning practices and safeguarding the environment.