Open Burning 2022 Season
The Chelmsford Fire Department issues both Residential Open Burning Permits and Agricultural Open Burning Permits, although the issuance of Agricultural Burning Permits are limited by MassDEP regulations.
Residential Open Burning season begins on January 15, 2022 and will run until April 30, 2022.
IMPORTANT!!!! - If you received a renewal notice from this department, please DO NOT CLICK "Apply for new permit" on the Open Burning Permitting Page. Instead, enter your address and name in the search boxes, and click search. Click the renew button next to your permit from last year and you will be guided through the process.
Open burning season starts on January 15, 2022 and ends on April 30, 2022. These dates are set by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a Town of Chelmsford bylaw. There is NO BURNING ALLOWED ON SUNDAYS per Town of Chelmsford bylaw.
RESIDENTIAL OPEN BURNING PERMITS APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED PRIOR TO JANUARY 15 ARE NOT VALID UNTIL JANUARY 15, 2022 at 10:00.
ALL OPEN BURNING PERMIT APPLICATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED ONLINE. NO PAPER APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED! PERMITS WILL NOT BE ISSUED UNTIL THE $10 OPEN BURNING FEE IS PAID.
OPEN BURNING RULES
- Burning of the following materials are allowed with a burning permit:
- Brush, cane, driftwood, and forestry debris.
- Agricultural materials such as fruit tree prunings, dead raspberry stalks, blueberry patches for pruning purposes, and infected beehives for disease control.
- You may NOT burn:
- Brush, trees, cane, and driftwood from commercial and/or industrial land clearing operations.
- Grass, hay, leaves, or stumps.
- Construction material, demolition debris, household trash, or tires.
- Tree trunks and limbs greater than 4” in diameter. These are not considered brush and are prohibited from open burning.
- Large piles that will not readily burn or are of such size that they will not be out by 4PM.
- In order to burn:
- Burning is only allowed from January 15 to April 30 between 10am and 4pm. You may not start burning after 2pm. All fires must be completely extinguished by 4pm. No burning is allowed on Sundays.
- You must obtain permission to burn by driving by a fire station and verifying that the window sign reads “OK to burn,” or by calling (978) 256-2542.
- You must have a garden hose immediately available that reaches the entire open burn area.
- The fire must always be supervised by a responsible adult 18 years of age or older.
- Igniting and maintaining a fire safely
- Open burning must be at least 75 feet from all buildings and away from utility lines.
- A fire shall not become a nuisance to neighbors or adjacent properties.
- You may not use gasoline, kerosene, or any other flammable liquid to ignite a fire. Start the fire small with paper or kindling and gradually add larger pieces to the pile.
- Keep children and pets at a safe distance. You may not leave the fire unattended at any time.
- Do not leave hot coals smoldering or unattended.
- Daily permission to burn may be rescinded at any time due to changing weather conditions.
- Call 911 immediately if your fire gets out of control or if you have any other emergency.
- You are responsible for your fire and any damage it may cause.
- This permit will be revoked for the remainder of the season for any violation of these rules. Violations will also be subject to citations and fines.
PERMISSION MUST BE OBTAINED FOR EACH DAY OF BURNING BY CALLING (978) 256-2542 OR BY VERIFYING THAT THE WINDOW SIGN AT A FIRE STATION READS “OK TO BURN.”
The Fire Prevention Office is authorized by MassDEP and the Fire Chief's office to issue permits for agricultural burning. These permits are not issued automatically like a residential burning permit and are subject to different rules for materials that can be burned, time of day, and time of year. MassDEP authorizes fire departments to determine whether or not a particular applicant qualifies within the agricultural burning regulations.
Agricultural Operations are those that raise commercial foodstuff or livestock and generally consist of greater than one acre of land. An exception to the one acre rule is for beekeepers who raise bees commercially to dispose of diseased beehives.
- AGRICULTURAL BURNING REGULATIONS