Question: Can I burn debris in my yard?



Burning of clean wood products is allowed in Rockland with a burning permit issued by the Fire Department or online by the Maine Forest Service. Below are some of the conditions that are required for obtaining the permit:

  1. You must be the landowner or have express written permission from the owner to have the fire.
  2. Permits are only issued on the day of the actual intended burn to ensure safe weather conditions.
  3. The weather must be cooperative for a safe fire. This means little to no wind and the ground must contain some moisture.
  4. Most often the permit will require you have some protective measures such as shovels, rakes or other tools to assist you in safely managing the fire. Also most fires will require a charged garden hose or other extinguishment method is present. .
  5. Someone must be present at the fire at all times. If not, we will revoke the permit, extinguish the unattended fire, and summons the permit holder. Unattended fires or smoldering ashes lead to unintended fires and the permit holder will be liable for the associated costs of extinguishment.
  6. To obtain a burning permit you must come to the Fire Station or go online to the Maine Forest Service site:
    • Permits issued at the station are free while those obtained online cost $7.00.
    • Most often a call to the station (207) 594-0318 before you come for a permit will allow us to give you some indication as to whether or not you will meet that day’s requirement to burn.
  7. Only clean wood, leaves, grass, and debris may be burned. You may not burn painted wood, pressure treated wood, plastics, coated cardboard, paints, solvents, etc.
  8. You may not use gasoline, kerosene, diesel or other ignitable liquids to start the fire.
  9. You do not need a burning permit to have a cooking fire in a safe fire pit on your property. This does not allow you to clean the yard and burn it while keeping a bag of marshmallows nearby! We do recommend you call us to let us know you plan to have a fire, even for cooking, so as to minimize the chances of us showing up unexpectedly at your cookout when a well intentioned passerby reports smoke.

Download a Maine Department of Environmental Protection brochure on burning construction materials (PDF 110k).

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