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, number 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 and then extinguish 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 the Department of Environmental Protection.

Permit Exceptions

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

  • Arlington
  • Belmont
  • Boston
  • Brookline
  • Cambridge
  • Chelsea
  • Chicopee
  • Everett
  • Fall River
  • Holyoke
  • Lawrence
  • Lowell
  • Malden
  • Medford
  • New Bedford
  • Newton
  • Somerville
  • Springfield
  • Waltham
  • Watertown
  • West Springfield
  • Worcester