The Massachusetts open burning season begins Tuesday, Jan. 15 and goes through Wednesday, May 1. Burning times are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Burning is allowed in every city and town in Berkshire County by permit only. You can contact your local fire department to get a permit.

There is often misinformation surrounding open burn and/or outdoor cooking fire rules and regulations. Some think it's permitted to just burn whatever they want whenever they want as long as access to water is nearby.

Permits can be dependent on weather conditions as well, your local fire department can pull your permit if necessary.

Burning while snow is on the ground is actually the best time to, as snow and ice can prevent fire from spreading. Obviously, windy and dry conditions are the worst for open burn.

The following and additional safety tips are on

You 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

You 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

Remember, according to Massachusetts law, you are not allowed to burn at all outside of open burning season, unless you are using a fire pit to cook.





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