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 Permits can be rescinded if conditions change suddenly, making it unsafe to burn.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. state.ma.us/MassAir.
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: http://www.mass.gov/eopss/docs/dfs/osfm/pubed/flyers/open-burning-fire-factors.pdf