Open Burning Season in Billerica

Permits Are Required

Residents must obtain a permit, free of charge, by calling the Billerica Fire Department business line at 978-671-0940 between the hours of 9:30am and 2pm each day burning is to be conducted. The department will determine when it is safe to conduct open burning on a daily basis. Weather conditions change rapidly, especially in the spring. Permits can be rescinded if conditions change suddenly, making it unsafe to burn.

According to the Department of Environmental Protection regulation (310 CMR DEP 7.07), open burning must: be a minimum of 75 feet from all buildings; be conducted between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. from January 15 to April 30; and take place on the land closest to the source of material to be burned. You must also be sure air quality conditions are acceptable for burning by calling the Massachusetts DEP Air Quality Hotline at (617) 556-1021 or by visiting the MassAir Online website at http://public.dep.

Only Certain Materials Can Be Burned

  • Brush, cane, driftwood, and forestry debris from other than commercial or industrial land clearing operations.
  • Agricultural materials such as fruit tree and brush pruning, raspberry stalks, and infected bee hives for disease control.
  • Trees and brush resulting from agricultural land clearing.
  • Fungus infected elm wood, if no other acceptable means of disposal is available.

Burning Leaves and Other Materials is Prohibited

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

Have Fire Control Tools Handy

An adult must attend the fire until it is completely extinguished. Have fire extinguishing materials on hand including a water supply, shoves, and rakes. The water supply may be a pressurized water fire extinguisher, a pump can, or a garden hose. Test the water source before igniting the fire. You do not want to find out that the water is off or that the hose is crashed when you need it.

Call For Help Immediately

If the fire gets out of control, call 911 immediately. Use the utmost caution to prevent injury to yourself and others or any fire damage to your home.

People conducting illegal burning, or who allow a fire to get out of control, may be held liable for the costs of extinguishing the fire in addition to finds or imprisonment (M.G.L. c.48, s.13).

Information provided by the Massachusetts Office of the State Fire Marshal. View the information directly at:

Cooking & Recreational Fires

A message from the Billerica Fire Prevention Bureau –

The Massachusetts State Fire Code & Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) allows outdoor recreational and cooking fires provided the following conditions are met:

  • The fire and smoke must not pose a hazard to any property.
  • The smoke must not create a nuisance or health hazard in the neighborhood.
  • A hose or fire extinguisher capable of extinguishing the fire must be within 25 feet of the fire.
  • Only ordinary firewood may be burned. NO trash, preservative-treated wood, plywood, leaves, hazardous waste, construction debris, or chemicals may be burned at any time.
  • The chiminea, outdoor fireplace, or fire pit must be on a non-combustible surface and must not be under any type of overhang, roof, or canopy. It must be at least 25 feet from any combustible wall or other combustible material.
  • A competent adult must be in attendance at all times.

Please remember that any fire should always be considered a hazard to curious children.

A permit is not required, but we do recommend you notify us of your fire by calling 978-671-0940. If the fire department is called to your home for any type of outside fire, we reserve the right to extinguish or order any fire be extinguished at the fire officer’s discretion.

Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery!

The Billerica Fire Department would like to remind you that when Daylight Savings Time arrives on March 13, 2016 and you change your clock, please also remember to change the batteries in your smoke and CO alarms. Please remember that even hardwired detectors need fresh batteries! These detectors depend on battery power to sound properly during critical events such as power outages and fires in which electrical breakers may trip!

National Burn Awareness Week – February 1st – 7th, 2016

The Epidemic of Liquid and Steam Burns

Children and Older Adults Most At-Risk

Each year, over 450,000 burn injuries occur in the United States that are serious enough to require medical treatment. Between 2007 and 2013, the proportion of burn center admissions due to scald burns increased from 29.8% to 33.7%.

Join us in the fight to prevent severe burn and scald injuries!

Tips to Stay Safe

  • Set your water heater at 120 degrees F/48 degrees C or just below the medium setting.
  • Use a thermometer to test the water coming out of your bath water tap.
  • Run your hand through bath water to test for hot spots.
  • Use back burners and turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so children cannot pull them down.
  • Use oven mitts when cooking or handling hot food and drinks.
  • Stir and test food cooked in the microwave before serving. Open heated containers away from you from back to front.
  • Keep children away from the stove when cooking by using a safety gate for younger children and marking with tape a 3-foot “no-kid zone” for older children.
  • Keep hot drinks away from the edge of tables and counters and avoid using tablecloths and placemats.
  • Use a “travel mug” with a tight-fitting lid for all hot drinks.
  • Never hold or carry a child while you have a hot drink in your hand.


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Holiday Toy Drive!

It’s that time of year again! The Billerica Firefighters Local 1495 will be collecting toy donations in support of the Toys for Tots campaign this season! The Billerica Fire Department is an official Toys for Tots drop off location. Now through Christmas, new, unwrapped toys can be donated at any of the 5 fire stations in town. Your support is really needed this holiday season. For more information on the Toys for Tots campaign, please click here.