As we move into the traditional “burning season” of spring, Vernon residents should be aware that we have fire wardens, as follows:

  • John E. (“JJ”) Wheeldon (Fire Warden) — (802) 254-8185 OR (413 ) 896-3354
  • Jesse Jobin (Deputy Fire Warden) —(802) 698-0468

OR, if unable to reach the above, call:

  • Todd Capen (Fire Chief) — (802)  380-6214

A burning permit needs to be obtained from one of the wardens if you plan to have a fire that’s bigger in size than a normal backyard fire pit fire or barbecue. Permits will be given only for burning natural brush or branches, not construction materials, toxic items, or anything containing oils, paints or accelerants. (Other prohibited items include, but are not limited to: tires, tubes, plastics, shingles, foam rubber, oils, paints and any engineered building products.) Your fire must be attended at all times, safely extinguished, and out before dark.

Permits are free, and issued verbally. No forms, no paperwork, no fees. Just call JJ, or Jesse if you can’t reach JJ, (or Todd in a pinch) provide your name, the time and place of the burn, and ask for an OK. You can leave a message and they will get back to you. A permit will normally be given as long as conditions are not excessively dry or windy, and as long as you have the ability to keep the fire contained, and as long as the materials are limited to brush and branches. Burning permits can be obtained any time of year; there actually is no set burning season as there is in some areas.

Photo by Gord Webster, used under Creative Commons License