Effective immediately, the Orono Fire Department is temporarily halting issuing of open burning permits required for the outdoor burning of brush and wood debris. This action will remain in effect until the state sees an adequate level of precipitation. Recreational campfires for cooking and warming, lit on an owner-occupied property, or in a rental property where the tenant has the expressed written permission from the property owner, are not subject to this suspension but do require an open burning permit.
Maine wildfire update:
Maine is experiencing an abnormally high number of wildfires. To date, there have been 712 fires, representing 871 acres, the second-highest fire count in 10 years, and its only June. So far, there has been a 170% increase in wildfires caused by campfires compared to 2019. Dry weather and disruptions caused by the pandemic are the root causes of this abnormally high number of fires.
Campfire safety tips:
· Before lighting a campfire or cooking fire, check www.mainefireweather.org for the local fire conditions. Fire weather days above moderate have an increased chance for even a small fire to get out of control. Orono is in Zone 7.
· Keep the fire small, not tall. That way, if you have to leave suddenly, it is easy to extinguish.
· The campfire should be at least 50’ away from any structures and on level ground.
· Do not use accelerants to start your fire.
· Always have plenty of water on hand and tools available to put out the fire.
· When you have finished burning, check the fire several times to ensure it is out.
· Supervise children and pets near the fire and never leave your fire unattended.