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Open Burn Permits & Regulations
General Burning Season & Permit Information

Open burning season is from January 15 to May 1 each year.

Permit Required from Local Fire Department/Fire Chief

A permit must be obtained at Fire Headquarters 8 School Street Gloucester, MA from the Fire Prevention Office Senior Clerk during their normal hours.  We will be transitioning to a web based (online) system ASAP.  We apologize for the delay in the activation of the online system.

The fee for the permit is $25.00, as authorized by the State Legislature, for the original permit.  CASH WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.  Payment by check only, made out to the City of Gloucester. Any returned checks must be redeemed in cash and a $25 fee for handling returned checks will be charged.

Weather conditions can change rapidly, especially in the spring.  The Deputy Fire Chief on duty will determine on a daily basis when it is safe to conduct open burning.  To listen to today's Open Burning status call 978-281-9760 and select ext 1. You must call each day and listen to the OPEN BURNING Status recording to see if burning is authorized by the Deputy on Duty.  If winds kick up or other atmospheric conditions change suddenly making it unsafe to burn, permits can be rescinded.  

Permitted open burning is required to be a minimum of 75 feet from all buildings and must be conducted between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Permitted open burning must take place on the land closest to the source of material to be burned in accordance with Department of Environmental Protection regulations 310 CMR DEP 7.07.

Burning, with 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 pruning's, 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 leftover Christmas tree may also be used.  No accelerants are permitted to be used.

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