What you need to know about open burning

(WWLP) – The season for open burning in Massachusetts lasts through the end of April, but the practice isn’t allowed everywhere, and there are some tight rules in place in order to prevent your disposal of yard debris from becoming a brush fire.

Open burning is allowed in some form in all but 22 cities and towns in Massachusetts.

  • Burning is NOT allowed in the following western Mass. communities: Chicopee, Holyoke, Springfield, and West Springfield.
  • Where burning IS allowed, you need to obtain a permit from your local fire department. Even with a permit, the fire department will determine whether conditions are acceptable for burning on a day-by-day basis. Burning is likely to be prohibited on dry, windy days, due to the higher risk of fires getting out of control.
  • Burning is only allowed at a distance of 75 feet or more away from any homes, and can only be done (on days determined safe by the fire department) between the hours of 10:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M.


  • With a permit, you MAY burn brush, driftwood, and forestry debris from your yard.
  • You CANNOT burn leaves, grass, hay, tree stumps, construction debris, or tires. You also may not burn brush that came as a result of commercial or industrial land clearing.


  • If you plan to burn debris outdoors keep the fire at least 75 feet away from your home
  • Monitor the fire constantly to keep it from spreading
  • Keep a fire extinguisher or hose nearby to control the flames
  • If the fire starts to spread, don’t delay in calling for help
  • Watch the wind, because it can suddenly change
  • For more tips on burning safely, visit the website of the state office of Public Safety and Security.

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