Open Burn Permits & Regulations

Burn Permits

General Burning Season & Permit Information

Open burning season is from January 15 to May 1 each year.

Permit Required From Local Fire Department/Fire Chief

A permit must be obtained online at Gloucester’s Online Permitting Central via View Point Cloud. Those without internet access may come into Fire Headquarters/Fire Prevention Office at 8 School Street and use our public-access computer in the lobby to apply.

The permit fee is $25.00, as authorized by State Legislature. The online system accepts all major credit cards and charges a $1.74 processing fee. Applicants can also pay by check (payable to City of Gloucester) in person or by mail. Please note that permits paid by check cannot be issued until the check has been processed; this may cause a several day delay. Checks returned for insufficient funds must be redeemed by bringing in a money order for $50 ($25 permit fee and $25 fee for handling returned check). No cash is accepted at any time. The burning season runs from January 15 through May 1 each year. As weather conditions can change rapidly, especially in the spring, the Deputy Fire Chief on duty determines on a daily basis when it is safe to conduct open burning.  

To listen to today’s Open Burning status, call (978) 325-5306.

You must call the Open Burn Status Line each day to listen to that particular day’s OPEN BURNING Status recording to determine if burning is authorized by the Deputy on Duty. If wind speeds increase or other atmospheric conditions change suddenly making it unsafe to burn, authorization to burn that day (permits) can be rescinded. 

Permitted open burning is required to be a minimum of 75 feet from all dwellings and must be conducted between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  Permitted open burning must take place on the land closest to the source of material to be burned in accordance with Department of Environmental Protection regulations 310 CMR DEP 7.07. Any violations of the Code, Ordinances, or unsafe burning as determined by a Fire Office may result in a permit being suspended or revoked. Any rescinded, suspended, or revoked permit will not be due a refund or prorated refund.

Burning, with a permit for the following materials is allowed:

  • Brush, cane, driftwood, and forestry debris from other than commercial or industrial land clearing operations.
  • Materials normally associated with the pursuit of agriculture such as fruit tree prunings, dead raspberry stalks, blueberry patches for pruning purposes, and infected bee hives for disease control.
  • Trees and brush resulting from agricultural land clearing.
  • Fungus-infected elm wood, if no other acceptable means of disposal is available.

Burning of the following materials is prohibited statewide:

  • Brush, trees, cane, and driftwood from commercial and/or industrial land clearing operations.
  • Grass, hay, leaves and stumps, and tires.
  • Construction material and debris.

How to Safely Ignite the Fire

An adult should always be present during open burning and children and pets should be kept a safe distance away.

Use paper and kindling to start the fire and add progressively larger pieces of wood. Parts of a leftover Christmas tree may also be used. No accelerants are permitted to be used.