Forest Fire Wardens are appointed by the Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation, with the approval of the select board, and shall serve for a term of five (5) years, with an unlimited number of reappointments possible subject to approval by the Commissioner or designee (10 V.S.A. Chapter 83 §2641).
Cell: (802) 917-4856
Waitsfield-Fayston Volunteer Fire Department
4103 Main Street
Waitsfield, Vermont 05673
4144 Main Street
Waitsfield, VT 05673
Officials Urge Caution with Open Burning
State officials are ramping up efforts to prevent forest fires. Unprecedented warm weather and lack of snow this winter are creating conditions that could lead to more grass, brush and forest fires. Dead grass, leaves and brush are drying out quickly and becoming available as potential fuel for forest fires.
With the increasing risk of wildfires, officals are reminding people to, first get a permit and burn with caution. Issued by town fire wardens, burn permits are free – but required for open burning. Only untreated, natural materials, brush and grass can be legally burned. Most wildland fires are started by escaped debris pile fires. Fire wardens are able to manage the risk of wildfires by only allowing burning when fire risk is manageable.
Fire departments in many parts of Vermont are recognizing increased fire danger. Several mayjor fires have already been reported. By staying vigilant and following safe burning techniques, citizens will play an important role in preventing wildfires and the damage associated with them.
- Obtain a burn permit from the Fire Warden. Anyone seeking a burn permit should make the request at least one day in advance.
- A burn permit does not relieve the person to whom it is granted from any liability related to the fire or any damages it may cause.
- The person setting the fire must at all times have sufficient help and tools present to control the fire.
- Only natural wood material may be burned under the burn permit. Other materials burned require an Air Pollution permit as well as a burn permit.
- The fire must not be left unattended until it is entirely extinguished.
- Restricted materieals cannot be used to ignite natural wood materials.
- The Fire Warden may attach conditions to the issuance of burn permit. Any conditions not followed will invalidate the permit and may result in a fine for each day of the violation.
- If you do not understand the law or have questions, contact the Fire Warden.
Suppression of wildland fires within the town.
- Takes personal charge of fire fighting operations, and ensures all fire suppression expenditures are necessary and reasonable.
- Manages crews and equipment and anticipates need for outside assistance.
- Demonstrates up-to-date suppression knowledge.
Maintains records and submits reports.
- Completes an accurate and thorough fire report for all wildland fires that occur within the town and submits reports to the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation within 14 days of a fire.
- When applied for, submits fire payrolls for state reimbursements of suppression costs by December 31.
- Keeps a record of burning permits issued.
- Assists state with annual update of a town forest fire plan.
- Submits related reports as required. Maintains Vermont Fire Prevention Ticket book and keeps all records in accordance with provided instructions.
Enforcement of Forest Fire Laws.
- Regulates open burning within the town by issuing burning permits, inspecting problem sites, and educating townspeople in proper burning practices.
- Acts upon violations promptly in accordance with policies and statutes.
- Issues fire prevention tickets as required.
- Makes initial contact with persons responsible for wildland fires and assists other authorities in fire investigations when requested.
- Knows and understands all forest fire laws and demonstrates active interest in fire prevention efforts within the town.
- Communicates with the public in a courteous manner.
- Keeps informed and up-to-date by attending all training sessions called by the Commissioner or designee.
- Maintains working relationship with town officials and fire departments who provide fire protection to any portion of the warden's town.
- Maintains assigned equipment in good condition and uses equipment correctly.
Listed below are minimum qualifications for Fire Warden:
- Eligible to hold town office:
a. Is a citizen of the United States
b. Is a resident of the state of Vermont
c. Has taken the Freeman's Oath
d. Is 18 years of age or older.
- Should be a member of the local fire department within the town that he/she will serve as warden, if a department exists.
- Available to carry out the duties of the position as listed above.
- Shall hold a valid Vermont driver's license.
- Shall be able to read and write; a requirement necessary to fill out report forms and issue fire prevention tickets.
- Shall have a telephone with a listed or published telephone number.
- Although not mandatory, general good health is necessary to carry out most duties of the position.
Upon being appointed new wardens and deputy wardens will be supplied the following from state:
- Town Forest Fire Warden Handbook
- Forest Fire Warden Identification Card
- Vermont Fire Prevention Ticket-User Guide
- Vermont Fire Prevention Ticket Book
- Burning Permits
- Forest Fire Report Forms
- Expense/Payroll Forms
- Fire Reimbursement Application Forms
- Certificate of Appointment
- Community Notice Posters
The salary of the fire warden shall be determined by the select board for time spent in the performance of the duties of his/her office, which shall be paid by the town, 10 V.S.A. §2642, Chapter 83). Warden shall also receive, from the town, the sum of fifteen cents for each fire permit issued (10 V.S.A. §2642, Chapter 83).
- The warden shall receive $20 annually from the state for properly making out and submitting reports.
- The warden shall receive, from the state, $15 per diem for attendance at each training session called by the Commissioner or designee.
Waitsfield-Fayston Volunteer Fire Department
State of Vermont Division of Forestry - Forest Fire Control
State Dept. of Public Safety - Fire Safety Division -- Seasonal Warnings
State of Vermont Forest Fire Warden Job Description
10 V.S.A. Chapter 83 Forest Fire Laws
National Weather Service - Burlington, VT Fire Weather Forecast and Warnings
National Weather Service - Burlington, VT Fire Weather Page
Don't Burn Vermont
Fire Warden Role and Responsibilities, VLCT 1999