Town of Amherst, MA - Home Page
Go To Search
Burning Permits - Open Air Burning 2014

BURNING PERMITS!

"Get your burning permit now!"  Don't wait until the day you want to burn as there may be a delay in issuing permits on busy days, especially on weekends.  Permits are good until May 1st.

Requirements for open air burning:
Open air burning can only occur between January 15th and May 1st by state regulations. The rules for burning are listed below. We will come and conduct an inspection and issue you a burning permit once the permit fee has been paid. DON"T WAIT UNTIL THE DAY YOU WANT TO BURN TO CALL FOR A PERMIT! Our crews are very busy during warm spring weekends so there may be a delay in getting your permit if you wait until the last minute. Get your permit now and be ready for the nice weather. You don't have to have your brush pile made yet - we just need to see where you are going to burn and review the regulations with you.  Call our business office at 413-259-3082 if you have any questions.


Procedure for obtaining your burning permit:
Permits are available through the department for $25.00 and must be obtained prior to burning.  An inspection of the burn site will also be conducted before burning can begin. The permit is valid for the entire season, though the Department may cancel burning on certain days depending on weather conditions.

To obtain your season permit you should first come to the Fire Department Business office at the Central Fire Station during normal business hours.  You may pay the $25 permit fee by cash or check   The permit will NOT be issued until the permit fee has been paid.  Once the fee has been paid we will arrange to have someone come to your property to perform the inspection.  We conduct inspections seven days a week as time permits.

Once you have your initial permit it is good until May 1st.  Any days that you wish to use it to you should call our business office at 413-259-3082 to notify us that you will be burning that day.  Unless weather or air quality conditions are poor for open air burning you will then be allowed to burn that day according to the regulations below.

Agricultural burn permits good for a full year are also available.  Contact the Chief’s office for more information on agricultural burn permits.

State Open Air Burning Regulations:

  • The Commonwealth of Massachusetts allows open air burning from January 15 - May 1 of each year.
  • Only garden preparation and tree trimming material may be burned (no leaves or stumps).
  • Burning sites need to be inspected by the Fire Department prior to use.
  • Burning is allowed from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, at which time all burning must be concluded.
  • Burning must be constantly attended and a garden hose or water source must be readily available.
  • Burning sites must be located at least 75' from structures and materials cannot be piled higher than 3', longer than 25', or wider than 10'.
  • Once a permit is obtained from the Fire Department, it is good for the remainder of the burning season, and no further inspections will be made.
    • A telephone call to the Department must be made prior to burning in order to activate the permit and ensure that burning is allowed on any particular day (high winds or dry conditions will negate open burning).

Additional Information
For more information and the text of Massachusetts Regulation 310 CMR 7.07, "Open Burning," see the Open Burning Regulations (external link) of the Massachusetts Bureau of Forest Fire Control, or contact the Fire Department at 413-259-3082 for more information.