Forest Fire Warden

Job Description

Forest Fire Wardens are appointed by the Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation, with the approval of the select board, and shall serve for a term of five (5) years, with an unlimited number of reappointments possible subject to approval by the Commissioner or designee (10 V.S.A. Chapter 83 §2641).

Major Duties:

  1. Suppression of wildland fires within the town. Takes personal charge of fire fighting operations, and ensures all fire suppression expenditures are necessary and reasonable. Manages crews and equipment and anticipates need for outside assistance. Demonstrates up-to-date suppression knowledge.
  2. Maintains records and submits reports.Completes an accurate and thorough fire report for all wildland fires that occur within the town and submits reports to the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation within 14 days of a fire. When applied for, submits fire payrolls for state reimbursements of suppression costs by December 31. Keeps a record of burning permits issued. Assists state with annual update of a town forest fire plan. Submits related reports as required. Maintains Vermont Fire Prevention Ticket book and keeps all records in accordance with provided instructions.
  3. Enforcement of Forest Fire Laws. Regulates open burning within the town by issuing burning permits, inspecting problem sites, and educating townspeople in proper burning practices. Acts upon violations promptly, according to policies and statutes. Issues fire prevention tickets as required. Makes initial contact with persons responsible for wildland fires and assists other authorities in fire investigations when requested. Knows and understands all forest fire laws and demonstrates active interest in fire prevention efforts within the town. Communicates with the public in a courteous manner.


  1. Keeps informed and up-to-date by attending all training sessions called by the Commissioner or designee.
  2. Maintains working relationship with town officials and fire departments who provide fire protection to any portion of the warden's town.
  3. Maintains assigned equipment in good condition and uses equipment correctly.


The salary of the fire warden shall be determined by the select board for time spent in the performance of the duties of his/her office, which shall be paid by the town, 10 V.S.A. §2642, Chapter 83). Warden shall also receive, from the town, the sum of fifteen cents for each fire permit issued (10 V.S.A. §2642, Chapter 83).

In addition:

  1. The warden shall receive $20 annually from the state for properly making out and submitting reports.
  2. The warden shall receive, from the state, $15 per diem for attendance at each training session called by the Commissioner or designee.


  1. Eligible to hold town office:

    a. Is a citizen of the United States

    b. Is a resident of the state of Vermont

    c. Has taken the Freeman's Oath

    d. Is 18 years of age or older

  2. Should be a member of the local fire department within the town that he/she will serve as warden, if a department exists.
  3. Available to carry out the duties of the position as listed above.
  4. Shall hold a valid Vermont driver's license.
  5. Shall be able to read and write; a requirement necessary to fill out report forms and issue fire prevention tickets.
  6. Shall have a telephone with a listed or published telephone number.
  7. Although not mandatory, general good health is necessary to carry out most duties of the position.

Upon being appointed new wardens and deputy wardens will be supplied the following from state:

Contact your Protection Technician if you have not received these supplies or need additional amounts.

Reprinted from: Vermont Town Forest Fire Warden Handbook