The 2023 Open Burning season concluded on April 30, 2023, and Open Burning is no longer allowed. Open Burning permits for 2024 will be available beginning January 15, 2024. Please check back on this site at that time.
OUTDOOR BURNING IN THE TOWN OF CHELMSFORD
Fire pits and chimineas have become popular in recent years. However, per regulations adopted by the Office of the State Fire Marshal, unless they are being used primarily for cooking, fire pits and chimineas are considered open burning according to MassDEP open burning regulations (310 CMR 7.07). The Chelmsford Fire Department has statutory authority to enforce this MassDEP Regulation. Open Burning is only allowed between January 15 and April 30 of each year with a permit from the Chelmsford Fire Department. Burning illegally is subject to fines of up to $1000 per the Massachusetts State Fire Code.
If you do use a fire pit for cooking, the fire must be:
Kept to a reasonable size (Fuel load shall be no greater than 3' diameter and 2' tall);
Located away from combustible materials (75' from structures and combustible materials);
Contained in a non-flammable enclosure, (masonry pit or metal pan); and
Tended by a competent adult who is 18 years of age or older.
*Cooking is defined as a meal being prepared for sustenance. Roasting marshmallows does not comply with the definition of "cooking" per Massachusetts State Regulations.
You may not burn trash, refuse, construction materials or similar materials. If you do use a fire pit for cooking, you may only burn clean, dry firewood.This will minimize the amount of smoke leaving your property that may negatively affect neighbors.
The Chelmsford Fire Department advises that any fire which causes a nuisance condition or causes an unsafe condition, regardless of whether it was kindled legally or illegally, shall be extinguished.
A popular and legal alternative to a traditional wood burning fire pit is a propane or natural gas fired fire pit. Check with the Fire Prevention Office for recommended safe clearances.