Open Burning

On Line Permit



January 15- May 1

Burn hours 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM


The burning of any material out-of-doors 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.

Permits can be obtained by:

Burning (with a permit) of the following material is ALLOWED:

  • Brush, cane, driftwood, and forestry debris from other than commercial or industrial land clearing operations between January 15 - May 1 under the following conditions:
  • Burning must be a minimum of 75 feet from all dwellings.
  • Burning must be carried out between 10 AM and 4 PM
  •  Burning must take place on land closest to the source of material to be 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.
  • Fungus-infected elmwood if no other acceptable means of disposal is available (disease-free brush is not an acceptable starting aid). 

Permits are also required for the following:

  • Training or research in the fire protection or prevention with the 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.

Open Burning prohibited state wide for the following:

  • Commercial/ Institutional Land clearing, non-agriculture purposes.
  • Grass, hay, leaves, stumps
  • Tires

Open Burning  As described in the CMR's must be conducted:

  • Under the provisions of a properly executed permit issued under the provisions of M.G.L. c. 48.
  • During periods of good atmosphere ventilation.
  • Without causing a nuisance.
  • With smoke minimizing starters if starters are used,

10 CMR 7.07(3)(a) through 310 CMR 7.07(3)(f) as of 7/1/94


Open burning  permits authorizes you to burn. It's your responsibility to keep the fire under control.


  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 (not gasoline), or Use 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 spread  the coals with snow, water, sand, or soil.


The only times a permit is not necessary  are:

  • To combat or backfire by persons  affiliated with an official firefighting agency.
  • For cooking purposes.



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