What can be burned and under what conditions?

You may burn, with limits:

  • Brush
  • Cane
  • Driftwood
  • Forestry debris
  • Tree prunings
  • Dead raspberry stalks
  • Blueberry patches
  • Infected beehives

You may not burn:

  • Grass
  • Hay
  • Leaves
  • Stumps
  • Tires
  • Trash
  • Construction materials

In most of the state's towns and cities, homeowners are allowed to burn debris between January 15 and May 1, so long as the open burning takes place:
with the permission of the local fire department;
between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.;
when the air is circulating well but winds are light;
no less than 75 feet away from all dwellings; and
on your own property and as close as possible to the source of material(s) to be burned.
Landowners are required to register with the fire department before burning anything.  Registrations may only be made in person at the communications center,  41 Lowell Road, Carlisle.  A copy of the open burning rules are given to the landowner at the time of registration. You must then call  (978-369-1442) on each day you plan to burn to obtain permission.  Permits may be obtained starting at 8:00 AM but will not be issued after 2:00 PM.  Burning may only take place between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM in accordance with State regulations. All fires must be completely extinguished fully before 4:00 PM. Completely extinguished means to put out so that the fire emits no smoke, heat or flames.
Outdoor cooking is allowed year-round in all communities and is not subject to open burning limits. With specific approval from DEP, local fire departments may also stage outdoor fires for purposes of fire prevention research and training.

Show All Answers

1. What should you know about open burning in Massachusetts?
2. Why are there limits on open burning in Massachusetts?
3. What can be burned and under what conditions?
4. What types of open burning are not allowed?
5. What are the open burning guidelines?