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Burn Season Information

PERMIT REQUIRED

January 15 through May 1

Open Burning hours are from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

PLEASE Purchase YOUR NUMBERED BURNING PERMIT AT:

Oxford Fire Headquarters
181 Main St, Oxford
Monday - Friday
8:00am - 3:00pm (0800-1500)

Permits are $10.00

You may also apply for a burn permit online HERE.
(Please note that there will be a one business day delay on approval of your permit if you purchase it online.)


You may NOT use last year's permit.


Fire must be a manageable size, subject to Fire Department interpretation.


We want everyone who is going to conduct open burning to have, in hand, a numbered burning permit with a copy of the burning regulations. If you need to conduct open burning during the open burning season, then all you need to do is Contact Oxford Fire @ (508) 987-6012, before noon on the day you wish to burn and provide your previously obtained permit number. You will then be notified as to whether or not the State will allow open burning that day. If allowed, you will be able to utilize the permit. A permit is good for only three (3) burns per season. The burn needs to be started by noon.

The Fire Department is the sole authority in granting these permits. As per the following burning regulations, burning hours are between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Anyone wishing to request a permit should purchase the permit prior to the day which he/she intends to burn. Permits can be obtained Mon - Fri, 8:00am - 3:00pm (0800-1500) only from Fire Headquarters.


Requirements & Responsibilities in Massachusetts


Open burning-- the burning of any material out-of-doors-- releases large amounts of carbon monoxide and other gaseous and solid substances directly into the atmosphere. Open burning causes air pollution and aggravates respiratory problems. Under poor atmospheric conditions, open burning creates a smoke and odor nuisance, as well as a health threat to area residents, especially in densely populated areas. For these reasons, open burning is restricted in Massachusetts.

You must obtain a PERMIT for open burning from your local fire department or fire warden.

Burning (with a permit) of the following materials is allowed from January 15 through May 1

  • Brush, cane, driftwood, and forestry debris from other than commercial or industrial land clearing operations
The following is a list of prohibited burn materials:

  • You cannot burn leaves, pine needles, Christmas trees, building debris, pallets, grass, hay, stumps, tires or logs larger than 4" in diameter. You can burn branches, twigs, small tree sections. Permits are not issued for commercial land clearing.
The following conditions MUST be met:

  • Burning must be at least 75 feet from all dwellings  
  • Burning must be carried out between 10am and 4pm, and burning must take place on land closest to the source of the material being burned.  
  • Materials normally associated with the pursuit of agriculture, such as fruit tree pruning, dead raspberry stalks, blueberry patches for pruning purposes, infected beehives for disease control, trees and brush resulting from agricultural land clearing, and fungus-infected Elmwood if no other means of disposal is available. Disease-free brush is not an acceptable starting aid.
Suggested Guidelines for Conducting Open Burning


Starting the Fire: Before placing materials to be burned in an area, remove all grass. Before burning brush, dry by cutting in advance or covering. Start the fire using either small amounts of kindling, or a pressurized burner which uses diesel fuel. NO GASOLINE

While Burning: Someone must attend the fire until completely extinguished. Have available a water supply such as a pressurized water pump can or hose, and shovels or rakes for controlling the fire.

Extinguishing the Fire: Burn the fire down to coals with snow, water, sand or soil.

All open burning must be conducted during periods of good atmospheric ventilation "without causing a nuisance"--as determined by DEP.

No open burning permits may be issued for the burning of brush, cane, driftwood, and forestry debris in the following communities:




Arlington
Lowell
Belmont
Malden
Boston
Medford
Brookline
New Bedford
Cambridge
Newton
Chelsea
Somerville
Chicopee
Springfield
Everett
Waltham
Fall River
Watertown
Holyoke
West Springfield
Lawrence
Worcester




Permits are also required for the following activities:

  • Training or research in fire protection or prevention with specific approval by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  
  • Burning of Christmas trees from December 26 to January 7 of each year.  
  • One ceremonial bonfire each year to observe a municipal, state, or national event, under the supervision of the Fire Department.  
  • Bonfires between July 2 and July 6, under the supervision of the Fire Department.
Burning of the following is prohibited statewide:

  • Brush, trees, cane, and driftwood from commercial and/or institutional land clearing operations.  
  • Grass, hay, leaves, stumps and tires.  
  • Burning at landfills or refuse disposal facilities other than approved sites. Stacking, placing or storing combustible material such that the Department may presume that it will be burned.
Remember:

Open Air Burning Causes Air Pollution


 

EMS Headquarters, 181 Main Street, Oxford MA 01540

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