What to know about the 2022 Open Burning season

courtesy https://www.nattleboro.com/fire
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Open burning season begins Jan. 15 and runs through May 1. A permit is required to open burn in compliance with Massachusetts law.

Burning permits from previous seasons do not carry over from year to year. All residents need to re-apply for a permit online.

Residents can begin applying for a burn permit on Wednesday, Jan. 13, through the Town of North Attleborough’s online permitting process by visiting nattleboro.com/fire. Once on the site, residents should click the online permitting link at the top of the page to be brought to the Viewpoint Cloud Online Permitting Services for the fire department. To register for a permit, residents will need to set up a profile with a username and password. Once completed, they will be able to search for a burning permit and then apply for the permit.

Payments will not be accepted until after the permit has been reviewed and can only be made online using a credit card. During the application and review process, automated messages will be sent by email, keeping residents informed of the application status. Failure to respond to email notifications requesting action(s) will delay the permitting process.

Those having difficulties when applying online can contact the department’s business office at 508-699-0140 ext. 5603.

Once residents receive their permit there will be a phone number on the permit that they must call daily if they want to burn to ensure conditions are safe to burn.

Burning must be done:

  • Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., from Jan. 15 to May 1
  • At least 75 feet from all buildings
  • When air quality is acceptable for burning. Each day fire departments will determine whether conditions are safe for open burning. Weather and air quality can change rapidly, especially in the spring, and fire departments can rescind permits when that happens.
  • As close as possible to the source of material being burned

Residents are allowed to burn:

  • Brush, cane, driftwood and forestry debris (but not from commercial or industrial land clearing)
  • Agricultural materials including fruit tree and bush prunings, raspberry stalks, and infected bee hives for disease control
  • Trees and brush from agricultural land clearing
  • Fungus-infected elm wood, if no other acceptable means of disposal is available

Residents may not burn:

  • Leaves
  • Brush, trees, cane or driftwood from commercial or industrial land clearing
  • Grass, hay, leaves, stumps or tires
  • Construction materials or demolition debris
  • Household trash

What times are best for open burning?

  • Help prevent wildland fires by burning early in the season. Wet and snowy winter conditions help hinder the rapid spread of fire on or under the ground.
  • Changing weather conditions and increased fire danger in spring can lead to many days when open burning is not allowed.
  • April is usually the worst month for brush fires. When snow recedes, but before new growth emerges, last year’s dead grass, leaves and wood are dangerous tinder. Winds also tend to be strong and unpredictable in April.

For more information on open burning in Massachusetts, visit Mass.gov.

Violations of the permit requirements, open burning law and/or open burning regulations will be grounds for permit revocation. According to Massachusetts law, anyone found burning without a permit may be subject to criminal charges, the punishment for which is a fine of up to $500, plus the cost of suppression or by imprisonment for up to one month, or both.

For more information about the open burn permitting process, please contact the North Attleborough Fire Department at 508-699-0140.