Correction on outdoor fires

A burning permit is required for any, and every, outdoor brush pile, wood debris or agricultural fire in Washington. That’s a crucial correction to the story last week about outdoor burning. Fire Chief Phil Meunier says confusion is possible, because different sources sometimes have slightly different descriptions of the process. So, let it be known, that if you want to burn anything, any time outside, you need a printed permit from the free online site, or in person from Chief Phil, at 845-2899, or Ken Boisse, Deputy Fire Warden, at 845-2525. There are many references to burn permits, and they don’t all give precisely the same information, but the above is true for the town of Washington. You can check out the daily fire danger rating at Another update is the state site for burn permits — — no longer includes a fee. A couple of clicks takes you to the application at which we “Washingtonites” are in “Washington town of, not County.” Seriously. Also, the paper copy of your permit to burn has to be in your possession while you burn. There’s a big fat fine if you don’t have it when asked to show it. A burn permit is only good for the day and hours it’s issued because conditions change daily. All this great care is taken because escaped burns are Maine’s top cause of wildfires.

Halloween nostalgia

Having no trick-or-treaters on Halloween still seems unnatural, and sad, even after eleven years here. I still remember the last Halloween beggars from 2010 when five kids piled out of a car that stopped at our driveway and came to our house, and our neighbor’s place. We remarked at the time that it was probably safer for the children to be chauffeured around than to be walking on our state road in the dark of night. The speed limit on our road is 45 miles-per-hour, but on our straightaway they often are at 60 mph, or more — deputies, are you listening?

In recent years, there are no Halloween callers. When I was a child our neighborhood streets were alive with groups of kids of all sizes, with flashlight-lit pumpkins, elaborate, usually home-made, costumes, and a few cautious parents watching the little ones from a child-approved distance. My mom always gave a small amount of candy — and an apple or orange because she thought all that candy wasn’t healthy. One year, we gave individual drinks in the little plastic bottles with the pull-off tops. That was a huge success and the next year some of the kids asked for the drinks. We thought it was remarkable that they remembered for a whole year. Lots of things are different these days, but, we’re glad to report that the recent Trunk or Treat was a great time with lots of youngsters — and older folks, too — having a really fun Halloween experience. Many thanks to all the people who pitched in to make it work.

Pumpkin Vine Farm season ends

The Roopchand Family (Anil, Kelly, Kieran, and Sarita) held their final Farmers Market of the season last weekend at Pumpkin Vine Farm — just over the line in Somerville. Sunday cleared off into a beautiful sunny, breezy, but warm day, to peruse the yummy and wholesome foods the vendors offer, and to stroll around enjoying the sunshine. Good news: it turns out that through this coming winter, Pumpkin Vine Family Farm will offer a pre-order market, so you can pick up bread, meat, dairy, and veggies every two weeks. Many thanks to these vendors who brought us good yummy stuff all summer, including, Andrews Farm, B&T Baked Goods, Crystal Lake Farm and Nursery, Field of Tombstones Farm, Sowbelly Butchery, Super Chilly Farm, and, of course, Pumpkin Vine Farm. Next week I’ll have the details on the vendors, their products, and how to get in touch with them.

Jobs with the town

The Town of Washington is looking to fill two positions in the town government. One is a paid combined position as Deputy Town Clerk/Treasurer/ Tax Collector. The position is part time at about 13 hours per week. Clerical skills necessary, municipal experience helpful. More information, and and application, can be found on the town website The other opening is an Appeals Board Alternate Member, a volunteer position. It requires ability to interpret ordinances and meet about every two months. If interested, contact the town office at to learn about an appointment to this board.

filed under: