For Immediate Release
Posted: April 10, 2024


Shelly Angers, NH Department of Natural & Cultural Resources
(603) 271-3136 |

April weather conditions lead to increased wildfire risk in NH

While “April showers bring May flowers,” the month’s wide variety of weather conditions – including rising temperatures, low relative humidity and gusty winds – combine with over-wintered dry grasses and leaves to elevate wildfire risk statewide.

To help alert the public about the importance of wildfire prevention, the N.H. Forest Protection Bureau has designated April 14-20, 2024 as “Wildfire Awareness Week” in New Hampshire. The bureau is joining other U.S. and Canadian partners within the Northeast Forest Fire Protection Commission in a coordinated effort to educate the public about how people can help lessen the occurrences of wildfire across the region.

Governor Chris Sununu has issued a proclamation supporting the importance of wildfire awareness and the value of fire prevention efforts statewide.

“It’s important to recognize that, unlike other regions of the United States, wildfire season in New Hampshire can begin early in the spring,” said Forest Ranger Nathan Blanchard of the N.H. Forest Protection Bureau. “Human activities add to the mix of risk factors because we’re all ready to spend time outside after months of winter weather.

“Yard cleanup, spring cookouts and even things like the improper disposal of wood stove ash can create embers, sparks or other forms of heat that can easily ignite dry materials around them, causing a wildfire that can quickly run and turn into a big problem.” 

Self-awareness and personal responsibility are key concepts in the national effort to reduce the frequency and impact of wildfires.

“We all remember the Québec and Nova Scotia wildfires last year, and while New Hampshire wildfires are most often contained while they are small, under dry and windy conditions they can develop into larger fires that can consume many acres of land and threaten or destroy property, even homes,” said N.H. Forest Protection Bureau Chief Steven Sherman.

“Being aware of the changing weather conditions, elevated fire danger and complying with fire permitting requirements can help prevent devastating consequences for you, your neighbor and your community.” 

More than 80 percent of New Hampshire is forested, second in the United States only to the state of Maine. In the last two decades, the Granite State experienced an average of 285 wildfires that impacted 221 acres annually.

In addition to endangering people and their property, wildfires negatively impact New Hampshire’s scenic landscapes as well as forest-based recreational opportunities and the forest products industries, which, according to the New Hampshire Forest Action Plan – 2020, together annually contributed $4.6 billion dollars to the state’s economy.

Anyone wishing to have an outdoor fire in New Hampshire must obtain a state fire permit in advance from the local fire department. Permits are issued only on days when Daily Fire Danger conditions indicate that it is safe to burn. Permits may also be obtained online at

Forest fire wardens, local fire departments and the N.H. Forest Protection Bureau are resources for wildfire prevention tips. Information is also available from the National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise Communities website:

The N.H. Forest Protection Bureau is part of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources’ Division of Forests and Lands, which protects and promotes the value provided by trees, forests, and natural communities. For more information about the Division of Forests and Lands and the work of its Forest Protection Bureau, visit or call 603-271-2214.