Open Burning Requirements & Responsibilities

Note: The same permit may be used as last year. There is no need to apply for a new permit. There will be no expiration unless there is a violation or the person who holds the permit changes residency.

Burning Permit Season - January 15 - May 1

Open Burning Requirements & Responsibilities

Open burning under poor atmospheric conditions can create a smoke nuisance, aggravate health and respiratory conditions. If not done properly and controlled, it can also endanger life, real property, and woodlands. For these reasons, open burning is closely regulated in Massachusetts by multiple regulatory organizations.

You must obtain a PERMIT for any open burning from the Palmer Fire Department, 12 Walnut Street.
There is no permit fee for the season which runs from January 15 through April 30 annually.

Burning rules include:
  • Brush, cane, driftwood, forestry debris, agriculture-related materials, agricultural land clearing only, and fungus-infected elmwood are allowed under the following conditions:
    1. Burning must be at least 75 feet from any dwellings.
    2. Burning must be carried out between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily.
    3. Burning must take place on land closest to the source of the material to be burned.

Burning of the following materials is PROHIBITED and may subject you to revocation of your permit and/or a fine:
  • Grass, hay, leaves, and stumps
  • Tires
  • Construction materials and lumber

Also prohibited is:
  • Stacking, placing, or storing combustible material such that the department may presume that it will be burned.
  • Failure to obtain a burning permit.
  • Failure to fully extinguish the fire by 4 p.m. daily.
  • Failure to control/contain the fire.

Each day of burning, you must:
  • Call 283-3861 to activate your permit. This must be done between 9 a.m. and noon.
  • When requested, leave your name and address of where the burning will take place.
  • Have a means of controlling the fire, such as a garden hose, pressurized water pump, shovels and rakes, with sufficient help.
  • Attend fire at all times.
  • Extinguish the fire fully by 4 p.m.

The Fire Chief/Forest Fire Warden maintains the right to revoke any permits or to cancel any permits due to high forest fire danger or to deny a permit to any person who he believes will not follow the Open Burning Requirements and Responsibilities or to any person who has violated these requirements in the past.

Whoever violates any provision of 527 CMR 10.22 shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500 plus the cost of suppression or by imprisonment for not more than one month.

* - denotes required field