Open Air Burning Permit & Information

Obtaining a Permit for Open Air Burning

Open-air burning may be conducted from January 15th to May 1st with a permit in accordance with MGL Chapter 48, Section 13. Permits for the 2024 burning season open the first week of January 2024.  Please return to complete an application at that time.  Learn more about the application process and safe burning by reading the information and burning regulations below.

Concord Open Air Burning Information & Permit Process

  • Open-air burning is governed by the Massachusetts General Law Chapter 48, Section 13, Massachusetts Comprehensive Fire Safety Code 527 CMR 1.00, Section 10.10, and regulations promulgated by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (Mass DEP), 310 CMR 7.07.
  • Open Air Burning season is from January 15th to May 1st. Burning, when allowed, may be conducted between 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Obtaining an Open Air Burning permit, and daily activation of the permit may done online. The link to do so is provided on this page.
  • The Concord Fire Department charges an annual permit fee of $20 per burning permit issued. This entitles the holder to activate and use their permit on as many days as they like, as long as burning is allowed on that day.
  • The determination of whether burning is allowed or not is typically made by the Mass DEP and is based on atmospheric conditions. There are times that the Fire Department may restrict burning due to available resources to fight a fire, should one get out of control.
  • Open Air Burning permits are one of the department's most demanding permits, in terms of the follow-up required. Burning permits create numerous "smoke in the area" investigations and fires that get out of control which require a department response. It is not uncommon for an out-of-control permit fire to necessitate the recall of off-duty firefighters to work.
  • More information regarding open-air burning can be found on the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection website. Please view it for more answers to questions about open-air burning.

Daily Activation of Your Permit

Each day you wish to burn, you must activate your permit. This can be done in one of two ways:

  1. Log into the account you created to obtain your burning permit. If burning is allowed, you will need to activate your permit between the hours of 9 a.m. - Noon. If you use the online application, you do not need to call the Fire Department.
  2. We encourage you to activate your permit online, however if necessary, you may also contact the Concord Fire Department each day between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon. Call by phone at 978-318-3488 to obtain permission to burn for the day. 

    The Concord Fire Department may alter, limit, restrict or cancel permits because of drought, equipment problems, or apparatus out of service. Burning will be allowed from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Open Air Burning Rules & Regulations

  • All material must be completely extinguished by 4 p.m.
      • Material allowed to be burned are: brush, cane, driftwood, forestry debris (2 inches in diameter or less), fungus-infected elm wood (if no other acceptable means of disposal is available) from other than commercial or industrial land clearing operations, excluding grass, hay, leaves, stumps, tires, household trash, construction material, and demolition debris.
  • You must be at a location greater than 75 feet from any building, on land proximate to the place of generation, and be in constant attendance until the fire is completely extinguished.
  • No starters such as gasoline or tires may be used.
  • A means of extinguishing the fire must be available at all times.
  • Call the Concord Fire Department at 911 for assistance if the fire gets out of control at any time.
  • Materials to be burned under an Open Burning Permit include:  the pruning of blueberry patches, dead raspberry stalks, fruit tree pruning, infected beehives for disease control, and fungus-infected elm wood provided that no suitable alternative is available.
  • Agricultural Operations are operations that raise commercial foodstuffs and/or livestock on an area larger than one acre (working farm).
  • Massachusetts Law that dictates these regulations is found in: M.G.L. Chapter 48, Section 13.
  • During the Patriots Day celebrations, open-air burning may be restricted or canceled due to the scheduled events in town.

Please remember that open-air burning causes air pollution. All open-air burning must be conducted during periods of good atmospheric ventilation without causing a nuisance (as determined by the Mass DEP). 


If you have questions regarding these regulations do not hesitate to call the Concord Fire Department at 978-318-3488.