Open Air Burning Permit Information

The 2020 open air burning season has ended.

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 15 to May 1, 2020 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.  A permit, listing the regulations that must be followed, is required and must be applied for at the Central Fire Station at 21 Town Hall Avenue. The cost for a season long burning permit is $10.00.  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.

Once issued, daily Open Air Burning Permits will be approved based on the following regulations:

  • An Open Air Burning Permit is obtained from the Tewksbury Fire Department.
  • Each day you wish to burn you must call (978) 640-4419 with your address and permit number.
  • Only brush, trees, cane, and driftwood may be burned.
  • Fires may not be started using any liquid fuel starters.
  • 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.
  • Good atmospheric ventilation must present in the area where burning is to be conducted.
  • Fires and byproducts of combustion cannot cause a nuisance to neighbors.
  • Burning must take place proximate to the place of generation.
  • While the fire is burning, an adult (18 years of age or older) must attend the fire until it is completely extinguished.
  • A water supply capable of extinguishing the burning debris must be available and proximate to the fire.
  • Hours for burning are from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm daily. (All fires must be extinguished by 4:00 pm.)
  • 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.
  • Adults (18 years of age or older) may light a reasonable fire for cooking, without permission, on sand, gravel or on tidewaters if fire is contained by rocks, metal, etc. (non-flammable material).

Burning of the following materials is prohibited statewide:

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

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

House numbers save lives!  Be sure your house is clearly numbered.