Open Air Burning Permit Information

The 2024 Season is Now Open

The Tewksbury Fire Department in conjunction with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection allows the open-air burning of brush and tree trimmings, but not leaves, grass, or construction debris from January 15th to May 1st between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm A permit, listing the regulations that must be followed, is required and must be applied for at the Central Fire Station at 984 Main Street. The cost for a season-long burning permit is $10.00 and we accept cash (exact change only) or checks (made payable to "Town of Tewksbury"). The permit is valid for the entire open-air burning season; however, on the day you wish to burn you must call the Open Air Burning Information Line at 978-640-4419 to leave your street address and permit number. A recording will tell you if burning is authorized that day. Burning is usually authorized unless high winds or poor atmospheric conditions exist.

  • Adults (18 years of age or older) may light a reasonable fire for cooking, without permission, on sand, gravel, or on tidewaters if the fire is contained by rocks, metal, etc. (non-flammable material).
  • Burning must take place proximate to the place of generation.
  • Each day you wish to burn you must call (978) 640-4419 with your address and permit number.
  • Fires and byproducts of combustion cannot cause a nuisance to neighbors.
  • Fires are permitted, providing they are not within 50 feet of any structure or within 30 feet of any electric or natural gas utility easement.
  • Fires may not be started using any liquid fuel starters.
  • Good atmospheric ventilation must be present in the area where burning is to be conducted.
  • Hours for burning are from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm daily. (All fires must be extinguished by 4:00 pm.)
  • Once issued, daily Open Air Burning Permits will be approved based on the following regulations:
  • Only brush, cane, branches or forestry debris may be burned
  • An Open Air Burning Permit is obtained from the Tewksbury Fire Department.
  • Open-air burning may be restricted upon conditions that may cause a hazard to health, safety, or the public's welfare, by the Chief of Department or his designee.
  • People conducting illegal burning may be held liable for costs of extinguishing the fire, fined and even imprisoned (M.G.L Ch.48 Sec.13).  Penalties for violations of M.G.L. Ch.48 Sec.13 shall be not more than $500.00 plus the cost of suppression, imprisonment for more than one month or both.
  • A water supply capable of extinguishing the burning debris must be available and proximate to the fire.
  • While the fire is burning, an adult (18 years of age or older) must attend the fire until it is completely extinguished.

 Burning of the following materials is prohibited statewide:

  • Brush, trees, cane, and driftwood from commercial and/or industrial land clearing operations.
  • Construction material and debris.
  • Grass, hay, leaves and stumps, and tires.

For questions regarding the information provided, please call the Fire Department at 978-640-4410

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