Fire & Rescue

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To enhance fire safety and prevent wildfires, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) implemented a new law last month that mandates burn permits for larger campfires. The law enacted by the Legislature, PL 56, went into effect Oct. 25, 2023 and will apply to fires exceeding three feet in both height and diameter, often referred to as “bonfires” that are not used for debris disposal.


Notably, permits for burning brush and wood debris remain unaffected and are still required under the existing regulations. Maine residents and visitors planning fires larger than the specified dimensions will be required to obtain burn permits, which 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, thereby 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 that 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.


For additional information and updates regarding the new open burning law in Maine, please follow the Maine Forest Ranger and DACF pages on Facebook.