Open Burning & Recreational Fires

Open Burning Season

January 15th to April 30th is the approved burning season here in Massachusetts, but you must have a permit from the Fire Department before you begin burning that pile. Residents can obtain a burning permit by either; calling the Fire Department at 978-388-8185, sending your request via email to the administrative assistant, or visiting the Administrative Offices at 9 School Street, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4 pm. We will need your name, address, phone number and, if possible, an email address.

If you call your permit request in, you will be given the permit number over the phone and the permit itself will either be emailed to you on the next business day or sent to you in the regular mail. Your emailed request will be processed on the day it is received or by the next business day and the permit sent to you by email. An informational sheet of "Safety Tips for Burning" will be provided to you along with your permit. If you do not receive a permit by the next business day after you've submitted your application, that means an error occurred during your submission process and we did not receive your contact information. You must have a burning permit number before you can do any burning!

In addition to the permit, you must also call the Fire Department on the day that you wish to burn to see if the State Fire Marshall's Office is allowing burning on that day (wind and weather conditions dictate their decision). Any unauthorized burning could lead to a full response by fire apparatus and possible fines.

Protect your family, neighbors, and property by burning safely!

Outside Recreational Fires

  • The fire must be on your property, or you must be able to demonstrate you have the permission of the property owner.
  • The fire must be small (3 feet by 3 feet), manageable, and approachable. (No bonfires)
  • All fires must always be attended by a competent person who is 18 years or older until extinguished.
  • A garden hose connected to a water supply or other fire extinguishing equipment shall be readily available for use.
  • Fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material.
  • The burning of trash, rubbish, painted or stained wood, and construction debris is prohibited.
  • Never use wet or unseasoned wood, only use dry, clean wood, charcoal briquettes, or fire logs.
  • Outdoor fireplaces or chimineas should be sited on a flat, non-combustible surface. They should not be placed directly onto a wood surface.
  • All manufacturer guidelines should be followed.
  • Any accelerants such as gasoline, diesel fuel, or Coleman fuel are prohibited from being used to kindle a fire.
  • Fires cannot cause a nuisance to any neighbors or persons. Should the fire department receive a complaint regarding your fire (smoke, smell, ash, or sparks), we will investigate. If deemed necessary, the Fire Department has the authority to order the fire to be extinguished.
  • As a good measure, speak to your neighbors first to avoid any problems.
  • Environmental conditions such as bad air quality or a day classified as a high fire danger (Red Flag) day may also limit or exclude the use of a recreational fire.
  • Call the Amesbury Fire Department with any questions or problems at 978-388-1333

Regulations prohibit any burning, which causes a nuisance or a condition of air pollution or hazard to others and is enforceable by the Amesbury Fire Department.