In accordance with State Law, open air burning season is from January 15th to May 1st annually. These dates are set by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) with the objective of minimizing air quality impacts. The DEP will prohibit open air burning on days when adverse weather conditions are forecast. You can visit the DEP website daily after 8:00 am to see if burning is allowed.
Permits must be obtained at Fire Headquarters, 47 Auburn St. during the following hours.
The fee for the permit is $10.00 and is valid for the season. You must receive permission from the Fire-Rescue Department on a daily basis to burn between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. A list of the rules and regulations for burning will be handed out when you obtain the permit. The Fire Chief does have the right to not allow burning on a particular day, or end the burning season early depending on weather conditions. For more information related to the open air burning season, please contact us at 508-832-7800.
Fires start quickly, and burn intensely. All fires are potentially serious. Development into high intensity burning will usually be faster and occur from smaller fires than in very high fire danger class. Every fire that is started has the potential to become large. Expect extreme, erratic behavior. No outdoor burning should take place in areas with extreme fire behavior. Fire restrictions are generally in effect on a class 5 day.
Fires start easily from all causes and immediately after ignition spread rapidly and increase quickly in intensity. Spot fires are a constant danger. Fires burning in light fuels may quickly develop high intensity characteristics such as long distance spotting and fire whirlwinds when they burn in heavier fuels. Both suppression and mop-up will require an extended and very thorough effort. Outdoor burning is not recommended. Fire restrictions may be in effect.
All fine dead fuels ignite readily and fires start easily from most causes. Unattended brush and camp fires are likely to escape. Fires spread rapidly and short-distance spotting is common. Fires may become serious and their control difficult unless they are attacked successfully while small. Outdoor burning should be restricted to early and late evening hours.
Fires can start from most accidental causes, but with the exception of lightning fires in some areas, the number of starts is generally low. Expect moderate flame length and rate of spread. Short distance spotting may occur, but is not persistent. Fires are not likely to become serious and control is relatively easy. Although controlled burning can be done without creating a hazard, routine caution should be taken.
Fuels do not ignite readily from small firebrands although a more intense heat source, such as lightning may start fires in duff or punky wood. Weather and fuel conditions will lead to slow fire spread, low intensity and relatively easy control with light mop-up. There is little danger of spotting. Controlled burns can usually be executed with reasonable safety.
A short term, temporary warning indicating the presence of dangerous combinations of temperature, wind, relative humidity, fuel or drought conditions which can contribute to new fires or rapid spread of existing fires. Can be issued at any Fire Danger level.