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Open Burning
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Open Burning

PERMIT REQUIRED
January 15 through May 1
Open Burning hours are from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
PLEASE PICK UP YOUR NUMBERED BURNING PERMIT AT:
CENTRAL DISPATCH
 50 WEST STREET

261-7320

Permits are FREE of charge.

Click here for latest notices

You may NOT use last year's permit.

We want everyone who is going to conduct open burning to have, in hand, a numbered burning permit with a copy of the burning regulations. If you need to conduct open burning on subsequent days during the open burning season, then all you need to do is contact Central Dispatch at 261-7320, after 9:30 a.m. on the day you wish to burn and provide your permit number. You will then be notified as to whether or not the State will allow open burning that day.  If allowed, you will be able to utilize the same permit.

 The Fire Department is the sole authority in granting these permits.  As per the following burning regulations, burning hours are between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.  Anyone wishing to request a permit should call no earlier than 9:30 a.m. on the day in which he/she intends to burn.

Chimenea & Fire Pit Safety
  • Burn clean fire wood
  • Devices are for outside use only
  • Burning of trash, leaves, construction debris and other refuse is prohibited by law.
  • Devices are to operated by an adult
  • Keep small children & pets away
  • Devices should be placed & operated away from buildings and other combustible objects or structures.
  • Devices should not be used on decks or porches.
  • Always have a fire extinguisher available.
  • If devices produce too much smoke and is deemed a nuisance by the Fire Department. The Fire Department can order the fire to be extinguished.
Requirements & Responsibilities for Open Burning in Massachusetts

Open burning is the burning of any material out-of-doors. Open burning releases large amounts of carbon monoxide and other gaseous and solid substances directly into the atmosphere.  Open burning causes air pollution and aggravates respiratory problems.  Under poor atmospheric conditions, open burning creates a smoke and odor nuisance, as well as a health threat to area residents, especially in densely populated areas.  For these reasons, open burning is restricted in Massachusetts.

You must obtain a PERMIT for open burning from your local fire department or fire warden.  The only time a permit is not necessary is:

  • For cooking purposes.

Burning (with a permit) of the following materials is allowed from January 15 through May 1

  • Brush, cane, driftwood, and forestry debris from other than commercial or industrial land clearing operations

The following conditions MUST be met:

  • Burning must be at least 75 feet from all dwellings
  • Burning must be carried out between 10 AM and 4 PM, and burning must take place on land closest to the source of the material being burned.
  • Materials normally associated with the pursuit of agriculture, such as fruit tree pruning, dead raspberry stalks, blueberry patches for pruning purposes, infected beehives for disease control, trees and brush resulting from agricultural land clearing, and fungus-infected Elmwood if no other means of disposal is available.  Disease-free brush is not an acceptable starting aid.
Suggested Guidelines for Conducting Open Burning

Starting the Fire:  Before placing materials to be burned in an area, remove all grass.  Before burning brush, dry by cutting in advance or covering.  Start the fire using either small amounts of kerosene, #2 fuel (NO GASOLINE), or a pressurized burner which uses diesel fuel.

While Burning:  Someone must attend the fire until completely extinguished.  Have available a water supply such as a pressurized water pump can or hose, and shovels or rakes for controlling the fire.

Extinguishing the Fire:  Burn the fire down to coals with snow, water, sand or soil.

All open burning must be conducted during periods of good atmospheric ventilation "without causing a nuisance", as determined by DEP.

No open burning permits may be issued for the burning of brush, cane, driftwood, and forestry debris in the following communities:

Arlington

Lowell

Belmont

Malden

Boston

Medford

Brookline

New Bedford

Cambridge

Newton

Chelsea

Somerville

Chicopee

Springfield

Everett

Waltham

Fall River

Watertown

Holyoke

West Springfield

Lawrence

Worcester

Permits are also required for the following activities:

  • Training or research in fire protection or prevention with specific approval by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
  • Burning of Christmas trees from December 26 to January 7 of each year.
  • One ceremonial bonfire each year to observe a municipal, state, or national event, under the supervision of the Fire Department.
  • Bonfires between July 2 and July 6, under the supervision of the Fire Department.

Burning of the following is prohibited statewide:

  • Brush, trees, cane, and driftwood from commercial and/or institutional land clearing operations.
  • Grass, hay, leaves, stumps and tires.
  • Burning at landfills or refuse disposal facilities other than approved sites.  Stacking, placing or storing combustible material such that the Department may presume that it will be burned.
     
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