The Londonderry Fire Department announced a new procedure that will allow residents to call the department to check the status of outside burning for the day.
Residents who call 432-1100, Ext. 311 or 421-1380 will hear one of two prerecorded messages: “Those with a valid seasonal category 1 or 2 burning permit may safely have a camp or cooking fire,” or the department “is not allowing burning today due to the fire danger classification issued by the State of New Hampshire,” according to a press release from the Fire Department.
Residents who hold a valid seasonal burn permit must follow all outside burning permit guidelines.
Permits must be renewed on an annual basis at the Londonderry Central Fire Station, where a valid 2015 burning permit may be obtained.
When there is 100 percent snow cover surrounding a fire site by 100 feet, a burn permit is not required.
The information hotline will go into service on Jan. 1.
For more information, call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 432-1124 during normal business hours.
The new system was created partly because it provides an easier method by which residents can find out if it is safe for them to burn, but also to alleviate call volume for dispatchers, according to Londonderry Division of Fire Prevention Chief Brian Johnson.
“Now that we’re also dispatching for Hampstead, we have seen a rising increase in call volume. We have already had 100 more calls in Londonderry this year than the total number of calls last year, and the year isn’t over yet,” he said, noting the new system is based on the model used successfully in Salem. “And on a nice Saturday night, we can get up to 100 phone calls from people asking if they can burn a campfire. It’s overwhelming for one dispatcher.”