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Brush Burning Tips

Open Burning Season Starts January 15 and Ends May 1

  • Open burning season is from January 15 to May 1 each year in communitieswhere it is allowed. Check with your local fire warden or fire chief.

Permit Required from Local Fire Warden/Fire Chief

  • A permit must be obtained from the local fire warden, usually the local fire chief.
  • Weather conditions can change rapidly, especially in the spring, and fire wardens will determine n a daily basis when it is safe to conduct open burning. If winds kick up or other atmospheric conditions change suddenly, making it unsafe to burn, permits can be rescinded.
  • The open burning must be a minimum of 75 feet from all buildings and must be conducted between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and must take place on the land closest to the source of material to be burned, according to Department of Environmental Protection regulations (310CMR DEP 7.07).

Burning, wit​h a permit for the following materials is allowed:

  • Brush, cane, driftwood, and forestry debris from other than commercial or industrial land clearing operations.
  • Materials normally associated with the pursuit of agriculture such as fruit tree prunings, dead raspberry stalks, blueberry patches for pruning purposes, and infected bee hives for disease control.
  • Trees and brush resulting from agricultural land clearing.
  • Fungus infected elm wood, if no other acceptable means of disposal is available.

Burning of the following materials is prohibited statewide:

  • Brush, trees, cane and driftwood from commercial and/or industrial land clearing operations.
  • Grass, hay, leaves and stumps, and tires.
  • Construction material and debris.

How to Safely Ignite the Fire

  • An adult should always be present during open burning and children and pets should be kept a safe distance away.
  • Use paper and kindling to start the fire and add progressively larger pieces of wood. Parts of a left over Christmas tree may also be used.