The Town of Berlin’s Fire Warden is Nick Garbacik, he has two assistant fire wardens to help him, they are Joe Stabb and Andy Lacasse. Please contact one of them for a permit prior to burning.
Warden Nick Garbacik (802)223-2098
Assistant Warden Joe Staab (802)522-7448
Assistant Warden Andy Lacasse (802)229-9504
Plan ahead, do not wait until the last minute. Be prepared with rakes, shovels, water hoses, fires can get away from you very quickly. If you do not get permission, and the fire gets out of control you may be fined by the Fire Warden and billed by the Berlin Volunteer Fire Dept.
Open-air burning is sort of a tradition. You know, you put some brush, leaves, garbage, junk from the attic, or maybe construction debris in a big pile in a field or in a burn barrel and light a match. Disposal fees at the local landfill go up in smoke.
A lot of other things go up in smoke, too – things that can cause serious health problems and damage the environment. That’s why the Legislature, through the state Agency of Natural Resources, has established regulations to control air pollution. There simply isn’t enough clean air left to do whatever we want. We must protect ourselves from the harmful effects of outdated “traditions” such as open-air burning.
Roughly 7 to 9 percent of what you burn ends up as air pollution, with some pollutants being highly toxic. That figure does not include the large amount of carbon dioxide, a common “greenhouse gas,” that is given off. There are many effects of open-air burning, some of which are more immediate than others. The smoke from your fire might not bother you, but it could be a real nuisance or a serious health threat to your neighbor, especially if he or she has any respiratory illnesses. And, a variety of illnesses can actually be caused, over time, by air pollution, including cancer, emphysema, asthma, and chronic bronchitis. Let’s face it: A lot of open burning just isn’t necessary. Brush can be composted, piled up for wildlife, chipped or just left to rot.
Isn’t There Anything I Can Still Burn?
Yes, certain kinds of open burning are still allowed if they don’t create a nuisance and if they are not prohibited by local ordinances.
These types of fires are allowed:
- · Burning of leaves, brush, dead wood, tree cuttings, and weeds from your property with permission from the Berlin Fire Warden.
- · Natural wood bonfires on festive occasions, with permission from the Berlin Fire Warden.
However, it is illegal to burn:
- Tires and other rubber products
- Treated, painted, or finished wood
- Tarpaper or asphalt shingles
Think again before you light that match. Open burning is simply a very poor way of getting rid of combustible trash
What Must I Do If I’m Planning A Burn?
You do not need a general air pollution permit for allowable fires. However, you do need a local permit from the Berlin Fire Warden for any burning.
A permit is required for home outside burning. The Fire Warden receives daily weather & forest conditions from VT Parks & Recreation. A permit will not normally be given for more than 2 days prior to burning because weather conditions can change dramatically. If you fail to obtain a permit, and you need assistance from the Berlin Fire Department to control your fire, you will liable for the cost of assistance. You are allowed to burn any natural vegetation (trees, brush & grass) and also untreated wood product, which is wood with no paint or wood that is not pressure-treated. Household trash is not permitted for burning under the State of VT Clean Air Act.(Sec. 1. 24 V.S.A. § 2201).
If you’re considering burning large quantities of materials, you might need a permit from the Air Pollution Control Division of the state Department of Environmental Conservation (241-3840). A permit may or may not be issued, depending on the individual situation.