Fire Permits

Fire Permits

A burning permit must be obtained prior to any outside burning within the City of Biddeford. Burning permits can be requested online at or picked up at the Central Fire Station between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

The City of Biddeford issues three types of burning permits: Campfire Permits, Open Burning Permits, and Beach Campfire Permits.

Permits are not required for any use of residential outdoor grills or fireplaces used for cooking or for campfires when the ground is covered with snow.

Permittee Responsibilities & Safety Criteria

  • Keep the written permit in your possession during the burning
  • Fires must be attended at all times
  • Have a charged garden hose and or buckets of water available in case of spread
  • Pay careful attention to wind speed and wind direction
  • Make sure the fire is completely extinguished before leaving the fire unattended
  • The permittee is responsible for the fire if it escapes and is also liable for suppression costs of up to $2,000 as well as any damages caused to other property

Campfire Permit (Recreational Fires)

Recreational fires that require a permit include campfires as well as fires in outdoor fire pits and fireplaces for recreational purposes. “Fire pits” include both in-ground fire pits as well as freestanding metal fire pits.

Online campfire permits can be requested on the day you intend to burn. The website will let you know if permits are not being issued for the day due to fire danger.

Written Campfire permits are valid from the date of issue to December 31st. When you plan to light a campfire, you must contact the Fire Department at 207-282-6632 if you have a written permit. This will enable the Fire Department to notify the permit holder in the event that weather conditions will make it unsafe to light the fire. Campfires may or may not be allowed on a forestry class day of three or higher depending on wind conditions and approval of the on-duty fire officer.

Rules & Regulations

  • Campfires must be no larger than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height
  • Area must be clear of any vegetation to prevent the spread of fire
  • Must be at least 15 feet from any structure
  • Must not create any nuisance
A campfire burning at night.
An outdoor fireplace structure on a stone wall in a backyard.
A freestanding firepit surrounded by four chairs in a backyard in the late evening.

Open Burning Fires

Open burning fires are any non-recreational fires where the products of combustion are emitted directly into the air without passing through a stack or chimney. Open burning fires must be no more than 20 feet in diameter and must be more than 50 feet from any structure. Provisions must be made to keep the open fire from spreading. Burning is allowed from 9 AM to midnight.

Permits are valid for 24 hours from the time they are requested and can't be requested in advance.

Brush, leaves and clean wood are the only materials which may be burned. The following list of materials may NOT be burned:

  • Asphalt shingles
  • Combustible or flammable liquids
  • Construction / demolition debris
  • Chemicals
  • Metals
  • Painted wood
  • Plastics
  • Rubber
  • Styrofoam
  • Varnished wood
  • Manufactured wood materials
  • Paper / cardboard
  • Household garbage
  • Sludge or solvents
  • Tires
  • Wire insulation
  • Wood boxes
A pile of brush and sticks burning directly on grass in a backyard.

The minimal use of paper may be used for ignition of any fires. Do not use any flammable or combustible liquids.

Open burning fire permits will not be issued on a forestry class day of three or higher.

Beach Campfires

Beach campfires on any of the City public beaches require a permit which is only valid on the day of issue.

  • Beach campfires must be contained in a metal container.
  • No ashes are to be left on the beach.
  • No campfire shall be allowed within 100 feet of any posted "Birds Nesting" site.
  • The campfire must not create a nuisance.
A campfire in a metal pit on the beach.

Additional Information

Permitted fires that generate any complaints will be investigated by the Fire Department and potentially extinguished.

Any violation of these conditions may result in revocation of permit(s), and/or court action.