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This past year we were fortunate enough to have favorable weather conditions in the spring and summer which limited the amount of wildland fire activity throughout the state. September and October saw fire conditions change and the state was faced with some difficult fires. The Dilly Cliff fire in North Woodstock was one of the most challenging fires we have seen in New Hampshire. Steep terrain and extreme fire behavior made this fire difficult to fight. It lasted for over 3 weeks and the final hotspots in inaccessible terrain were extinguished by heavy rains. Local fire departments and the Division of Forests and Lands worked throughout the year to protect homes and forests. The statewide system of 16 fire lookout towers continues to operate on high fire danger days. Our fire lookouts are credited with keeping many fires small due to their quick and accurate spotting capabilities. The tower fire detection efforts were supplemented by the NH Civil Air Patrol when the fire danger was especially high.

Many homes in New Hampshire are located in the wildland urban interface, which is the area where homes and flammable wildland fuels intermix. Several of the fires during the 2017 season threatened  structures, a constant reminder that forest fires burn more that just trees. Homeowners should take measures to prevent a wildland fire from spreading to their home. Precautions include keeping your roof and gutters clear of leaves and pine needles, and maintaining adequate green space around your home free of flammable materials. Additional information and homeowner recommendations are available at Please help Smokey Bear, your local fire department, and the state's Forest Rangers by being fire wise and fire safe!

As we prepare for the 2018 fire season, please remember to contact your local Forest Fire Warden or fire department to determine if a fire permit is required before doing ANY outside burning. Under State law (RSA 27-L:17) a fire permit is required for all outside burning, unless the ground is completely covered with snow. Fire permits are also available online in most towns and may be obtained by visiting The burning of household waste is prohibited by the Air Resources Division of the Department of Environmental Services (DES). You are encouraged to contact the local fire department or DES at 603 271-3503 or for more information. Safe open burning requires your diligence and responsibility. Thank-you for helping to protect New Hampshire's forest resources. For more information please contact the Division of Forests and Lands at 603 271-2214 or online at