Governor’s proclamation prohibits open fires and smoking in/near woodlands

On September 25, 2020, the Governor and Council signed a Proclamation prohibiting open fires and smoking in and near woodlands. This was done because of the fire conditions we have and will continue to have as we enter Fall. The drought conditions are severe across the state and wildfire indices are at the point where the potential for large fire activity exists.

What this means is:

  • All fires are prohibited on public lands, except in a campground
  • Category 3 fires are banned everywhere, public and private lands
  • Category 1 and 2 fires are allowed on private property with a fire permit
  • No smoking is allowed in or near public woodlands or on public trails
  • The online fire permit system has been shut down until weather conditions improve.
  • Residents who currently have a seasonal burn permit issued from the Mason Fire Department are still able to use it at this time. If conditions don’t improve in the very near future seasonal burn permits will also be suspended.

Category I Fire – means a small controlled fire, such as a camp or cooking fire, no greater than 2’ in diameter contained within a ring of fire resistive material or in a portable fireplace. A category I fire, conditions permitting, may be kindled with a permit at any time of day whether raining or not.

Category II Fire – means a controlled fire, such as a camp or cooking fire, no greater than 4’ in diameter contained within a ring of fire resistive material or in a portable fireplace. A category II fire, conditions permitting, may only be kindled with a permit between the hours of 5:00 pm and 9:00 am unless it is actually raining.

Category III Fire – means any other fire, not a category I or category II fire or a fire greater than 4’ in diameter or a fire not contained within a ring of resistive material. A category III fire, conditions permitting, may only be kindled with a permit between the hours of 5:00 pm and 9:00 am unless it is actually raining.

Fred Greenwood
Mason Fire-EMS Department, Chief

Drought conditions to persist; Selectmen urging residents to conserve water

Current conditions

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, drought is persisting across the state. According to the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook released on September 17, drought is likely to persist over the next three months, but drought intensity is also likely to improve.

This is only the second time since 2000, when the Drought Monitor was implemented, that parts of New Hampshire have experienced extreme drought.  When these conditions occurred in 2016, hundreds of private well shortages were reported.  Similar to 2016, well shortages are being reported from across the state.  As the growing season winds down and cooler temperatures set in, there is only a small window of time left to eliminate non-essential outdoor use in an effort to sustain supplies to meet essential future needs as the drought persists.

Selectmen urging residents to conserve water

The Town of Mason strongly suggests that all households take measures to reduce their daily consumption of water to help prevent private wells from going dry. Some measures could include eliminating lawn watering, making sure you are running the dishwater with a full load of dishes, and taking shorter showers.

The Selectmen thank you in advance for helping conserve water and protecting our wells.

Reporting well shortages

Residents are asked to report residential well shortages using the Residential Well Impact Survey form (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BBMB6LY).  NHDES will track well impacts so as to provide current information on drought impacts in your region.