The Fire Chief is responsible for ensuring that public, commercial, and multi-family properties in town comply with the Life Safety Code, a set of national standards established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and adopted by the town (see Article 6 of the town Fire Department Ordinance). Property owners are responsible for complying with this code, copies of which are available at the town office and the fire station. Enforcement is handled by the town Code Enforcement Officer and State Fire Marshall.
The Chief's goal is to work cooperatively with property owners to maximize safety. Yearly inspections are conducted, and if unsafe conditions are found the first step is to give property owners an opportunity to correct the hazard.
If you have any questions about the life safety code or your responsibilities as a property owner please the Camden Fire Department 207-236-7950.
Camden doesn't allow open burning without a permit issued by the fire department. You must obtain the permit on the same day you plan to burn, as weather conditions are an important safety consideration. Please stop by the fire department at 31 Washington Street between 7am-7pm. You may also obtain a permit online at the Maine Burn Permit System. Note that you must print your permit and have it in your possession during the burn if you use this option.
In the interest of public safety, permits are not issued when the fire danger is determined to be "extreme" or "very high" by the Maine Forest Service, and only a limited number of permits are issued when the danger is "high." The Maine Forest Service posts current fire hazard conditions daily on their website.
Plan your burn when vegetation is damp and wind is calm. Burning when the ground is snow covered, during a light drizzle, and/or just before precipitation is forecast is ideal. Typically November-March offer the safest conditions for open burning, but even during winter vegetation can become dangerously dry when snow cover is sparse
When you receive a burn permit, you agree to follow a specific set of safe practices. Please review these carefully before burning:
- burning must proceed with all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of fire and must not create any nuisance conditions
- don't burn when wind speed exceeds 10 mph (5 mph when burning grass)
- fires must be attended at all times by at least 1 adult with a garden hose or bucket of water present at all times; when burning grass you must have an additional adult present with brooms or other appropriate items to suffocate a fire; brush fires also require 2 adults and hand tools such as shovels and rakes
- you must have a written permit in your possession
- you are responsible for the fire if it escapes and may be liable for suppression costs up to $125,000 as well as any damages caused to other property
- don't burn during an inversion (stagnant air conditions)
- small, hot fires assist in dispersion and produce less smoke
- short requent burn periods will help ensure that weather conditions won't change and cause a nuisance from air pollution
State Regulations Covering Open Burning:
State of Maine Statute on Open Burning (Chapter 807 §9325)
Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection Statute on Open Burning (Chapter 102)
Maine Backyard Burning Law (Chapter 807)