Safety Tips for Open Burning Season
- Never use gasoline, kerosene or any other flammable liquid to start a fire, the risk of personal injury is high. The use of accelerants is not permitted with open burning permits.
- Burn one small pile at a time and slowly add to it. This will help keep the fire from getting out of control.
- Select a location away from any utility lines.
- Fire must be attended until extinguished.
- While the fire is burning, an adult must attend the fire until it is completely extinguished. The person conducting the burning must have the permit with him/her at all times during burning.
- Have Fire control tools on hand
- Have fire extinguishing materials on hand including a water supply, shovels and rakes.
- The water supply could be a pressurized water fire extinguisher, a pump can or garden hose, and be sure to test it out before igniting the fire.
- Watch the wind: Be prepared to extinguish all Open Burning if the wind is blowing embers.
- Be prepared to extinguish your fire if the winds pick up or weather changes. Use common sense and don't wait for the fire department to contact you that it has become unsafe to burn. Sudden wind change is how most open burning gets out of control.
- Don't delay a call for help to 911.
- If for some reason, the fire should get out of control, call the fire department immediately using 911.
- Use the utmost caution to prevent injuries or property damage by the fire, embers, smoke or radiant heat.
- People conducting illegal burning, or who allow a fire to get out of control, may be held liable for costs of extinguishing the fire, fined and even imprisoned (MGL C48 S13).
April is the peak Month for brush fires: April is typically the worst month for brush fires. When the snow pack recedes, before new growth emerges, last year's dead grass, leaves, brush, undergrowth and wood are dangerous tinder. Winds also tend to be stronger and more unpredictable during April rapidly extending the burn area.
Prevent Wildfires By Burning During Wet Snowy Conditions
Prevent permitted open burning fires from becoming wildland fires by burning early in the season. Wet and snowy winter conditions, hinder the rapid spread of fire on or under the ground. Weather conditions and increased fire danger may lead to many days when burning cannot be allowed to take place.
Alternatives to Open Burning
Open burning releases large amounts of carbon dioxide, other gases, and solid substances directly into the air, which can contribute to respiratory problems. Disposal of natural materials is never as good for the environment as using them again in a different form. Tree limbs, brush and other forestry debris can be chipped or composted into landscaping material. Check with Department of Public Works (DPW) to see what they are able to accept from homeowners.