Fire pits and chimineas have become popular in recent years. However, per regulations adopted by the Office of the State Fire Marshal, unless they are being used primarily for cooking, fire pits and chimineas are technically subject to the MassDEP open burning regulations (310 CMR 7.07). Open Burning is only allowed between January 15 and April 30 of each year with a permit from the Chelmsford Fire Department. Burning illegally is subject to fines of up to $1000 per the Massachusetts State Fire Code.
If you do use a fire pit for cooking, the fire must be:
Kept to a reasonable size
Located away from combustible materials
Contained in a non-flammable enclosure, and
Tended by someone who is 18 years of age or older.
If you do use a fire pit for cooking, remember to burn only clean, dry firewood. This will minimize the amount of smoke leaving your property and affecting neighbors. You may not burn trash, refuse or similar materials.
The Chelmsford Fire Department advises that any fire which causes a nuisance condition or causes an unsafe condition, regardless of whether it was kindled legally or illegally, shall be extinguished.
A popular and legal alternative to a traditional wood burning fire pit is a propane or natural gas fired fire pit. Check with the Fire Prevention Office for recommended safe clearances.