Brush fire scorches two acres at Bennington's Willow Park

A brush fire scorched 2 acres at Bennington's Willow Park in 2016.

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MONTPELIER — Vermont is experiencing high and very high fire danger because of drier than normal weather conditions. The Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation is reminding the public to exercise caution and follow all state laws and local ordinances regarding open burning. The National Weather Service has issued special weather statements for elevated fire weather, and additional fire weather watches and red flag warnings are anticipated.

Open burning requires a permit from your town forest fire warden, and Vermonters should always check with their warden before burning. When conditions are dry, town fire wardens can institute a burn ban in their respective town.

Most areas in Vermont have been 1 inch below normal rainfall for the last two weeks, with the last measurable rain on May 3. The weather forecast over the next few weeks does not indicate any signs of relief, with little to no precipitation forecasted.

The dry conditions call for extra attention when open burning — particularly with campfires — to reduce the risk of wildland fires.

The Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation issues a daily fire danger forecast for Vermont.

Get the most recent update at

Follow the department on Twitter at @VTFireDanger, or sign up for fire danger notifications at

Increased awareness can go a long way to limit the occurrence of wildland fires. Help prevent wildfires by following these simple guidelines:

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• Be aware of the current weather conditions before igniting a fire.

• Understand open burning laws.

• Obtain a permit from your town forest fire warden.

• Never leave an open fire unattended.

• Never build a campfire on top of decaying matter.

• Use a camp stove to prevent escaped fires.

• Extinguish fires completely before leaving. This can be done by dousing the fire in water, including all embers. Use a live, green branch to mix and stir the embers. If water is not available, use soil or sand to mix into the embers to cool them down. Continue to mix water and soil with the embers until the material is cool. Before leaving, use the back of your hand to check for heat in the campfire.

Find more information at


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