Jay Fire Warden


Kurtis Johnson is the Town of Jay Fire Warden as of May 19, 2014 for a 5 year term.
Contact (Call, Text) Kurt at 207.337.8827, Email kurtjohnson2009@gmail.com  

Plan ahead, do not wait until the last minute. Be prepared with rakes, shovels, water hoses and  portable pumps, 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 Jay Volunteer Fire Dept.

Fire permits are not needed as long as there is snow on the ground where you are burning. However  burning regulations are still in effect as to what you may and not may burn. Check the weather for wind conditions, please burn safely. It is always wise to call the Fire Warden whenever you are burning so that he and the Jay Vol Fire Dept are aware of the situation.  

 Every Spring as we transition from snow covered ground to green grass and leaf covered trees, we incur a phase called “pre-greenup”. This is when the ground is bare, brown and dry due to dormant grasses, dead leaves and other debris. This material can burn easily, and given the right weather conditions, fires can quickly get out of control. These weather conditions are quite common in April and May, thus now is the time to educate ourselves and those in our communities about risk factors associated with open burning by going to Vermont Emergency Management, a division of Public Safety web site.

Anyone with plans to do open burning should be aware of Vermont’s peak fire season (fire season is actually April thru November). Follow instructions regarding open burning. Pay attention to weather and fuel conditions as these elements change. The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation along with the National Weather Service provide critical fire danger and weather data to keep you informed of conditions that could lead to the development of large and/or dangerous wildfires. That data can be found at the National Weather Service Burlington web site  and click on the FireWeather link; or the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation site at and click on the Forestry, Protection links. 

Backyard Burning

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. And 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

·      Campfires and outdoor barbecues with permission from Jay Fire Warden, once your campsite or outdoor  BBQ is deemed safe, normally only 1 permit is needed, not every time you have a barbeque. 

·      Burning of leaves, brush, deadwood, tree cuttings, and weeds from your property with permission from Jay Fire Warden.

·      Natural wood bonfires on festive occasions, with permission from Jay Fire Warden.

However, it is illegal to burn:

·     Paper and cardboard
Tires and other rubber products
Treated, painted, or finished wood
Tarpaper or asphalt shingles

Think again before you light that match. The Troy/Jay Recycle Center accepts paper, cardboard, and various plastics and is open Fridays 1pm to 4pm and Saturdays 9am to noon.  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 Jay 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 Jay 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.

Household Trash

Illegal to burn trash in Vermont 

 Household Trash is not permitted for  burning under the State of VT Clean Air Act. (Sec. 1. 24 V.S.A. § 2201).

Attached Document or FileIllegal to Burn Trash In Vermont  
Attached Document or FileLearn to Recycle, not Burn  Troy/Jay Recycle Center open Friday 1-4 pm, Saturday 9 am to Noon
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