Robbie Blake scored his 100th league goal to earn Burnley a vital win and plunge Nottingham Forest deeper into relegation trouble.
Skipper Blake scored the decisive goal after five minutes and then looked on as his defenders fought a resolute battle to keep the visitors at bay.
Forest could and should have had a point but they were up against a goalkeeper in inspired form.
Burnley's great Dane Brian Jensen made some excellent saves, not least two second-half efforts to deny lively Forest striker Marlon King.
But Jensen should have been left without a prayer when the best chance of the match fell to former Burnley striker Gareth Taylor late on.
Looking yards offside, Taylor was given a clear opening just 10 yards out but he somehow managed to guide his effort wide.
With that went Forest's hopes and Burnley might easily have added to their lead late on via several promising breaks.
The decisive moment was all about Blake's footwork and goalscoring ability in tight situations.
Although he hadn't scored in his previous six outings there was only one thing on his mind when he gathered a pass from Lee Roche.
Blake took a couple of touches before firing home from a tight angle despite a spectacular attempt to clear off the line full-back James Perch.