Burning Season is now Open.
January 15, 2016 to May 1, 2016
Please visit Salisbury Fire-Rescue 37 Lafayette Rd to obtain a Permit.
$10.00 Fee for Permit
Open Burning in Massachusetts: Answers to Your Burning Questions
If you're like most Bay Staters, you spend a lot of your time in the spring preparing your lawn and garden for the warm months of renewal and growth ahead. A big part of your job is cleaning up tree limbs, brush and other remnants of winter storms - and figuring out what to do with all that debris.
Open burning might be the first thing that comes to your mind. While it is still allowed in most Massachusetts towns and cities, open burning has its distinct disadvantages. The combustion process releases large amounts of carbon dioxide, other gases, and solid substances directly into the air for people to breathe. And, of course, disposal of materials is never as good for the environment as using them again in a different form. Natural debris can be chipped or composted into landscaping material.
Still, there are times when open burning is the best or only option. Even then, there are limits on what can be burned and when, as well as important public health and safety requirements. This page provides answers to your questions about open burning and offers you suggestions on how to do it right.
The Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and your local fire department limit open burning for public health and safety reasons. Open burning pollutes the air and can make it difficult for people with respiratory problems to breathe. When the air is stagnant, open burning can pose smoke and odor nuisances - and health risks - to nearby residents, particularly in densely populated areas. Open burning can also pose a safety risk when it is not adequately controlled. The limits on open burning do not apply to outdoor cooking.
You may burn, with limits: brush, cane, driftwood, forestry debris, tree prunings, dead rasberry stalks, blueberry patches and infected beehives. You may not legally burn grass, hay, leaves, stumps or tires.
In most of the state's towns and cities, homeowners are allowed to burn brush, cane, driftwood and forestry debris - not including grass, hay, leaves or stumps - between January 15 and May 1, so long as the open burning takes place:
Be sure to get a permit from your local fire department before burning anything.
Fungus-infected elmwood and other materials normally associated with agriculture and agricultural land clearing - such as tree prunings, dead raspberry stalks, blueberry patches for pruning purposes - and disease-infected beehives may also be burned with fire department permission.
With the fire department's approval and supervision, a community may schedule:
Outdoor cooking is allowed year-round in all communities and is not subject to open burning limits. With specific approval from MassDEP, local fire departments may also stage outdoor fires for purposes of fire prevention or protection research and training. See MassDEP Guidance Documents for additional information.
There are no circumstances under which it is legal to burn grass, hay, leaves, stumps or tires. They simply do not burn as "cleanly" as those materials that may legally be burned. All of them produce acrid smoke that causes nuisance conditions and threatens people's health. When tires are burned, they produce noxious gases and petroleum residue, both of which can be harmful to people and the environment.
In addition, the burning of brush, cane, driftwood and forestry debris from commercial or industrial land clearing is prohibited statewide.
Yes. Open burning is prohibited in 22 of the state's largest cities and towns due to the density of population and close proximity of buildings within their borders: Arlington, Belmont, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Chicopee, Everett, Fall River, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, Malden, Medford, New Bedford, Newton, Somerville, Springfield, Waltham, Watertown, West Springfield, and Worcester.
First things first:
Starting the fire:
Putting the fire out:
Page Last Updated: Feb 25, 2016 (06:49:16)