News Flash

City of Westfield

Posted on: December 13, 2022

2023 Open Burning Season Information

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Chief Patrick M. Egloff and the Westfield Fire Department would like to remind residents that open burning season begins Jan. 15 and runs through May 1. A permit is required to open burn in compliance with Massachusetts law.

Permits:

Residents can begin applying for a daily or seasonal burn permit today by creating an account via the department’s new burn permit portal: Westfield.firepermits.com. The cost of the daily permit is $10 and a seasonal permit is $25, and both can be paid online through your Unipay account. A check or money order is also accepted and can be submitted to the Westfield Fire Department prior to the approval of the burn permit. Checks or money orders should be made out to the City of Westfield and mailed to the Westfield Fire Department, 34 Broad Street, Westfield, MA 01085.

Residents will receive an email notifying them when the permit is approved, following receipt of payment. On any day that a resident plans to burn, the permit must be activated by visiting their Westfield.firepermits.com account. When a burn is activated the department’s dispatch is able to quickly view any open burning location on a map, assisting in public safety and emergency management.

If conditions are unsafe for burning, such as high winds or drought, a notification will be posted on the homepage and the system will prevent an individual from activating a burn permit.

Individuals who don’t have access to a computer should call the Westfield Fire Department at (413) 562-2329 for assistance with their burn permit application.

Violations of the permit requirements, open burning law and/or open burning regulations will be grounds for permit revocation. According to Massachusetts law, anyone found burning without a permit may be subject to criminal charges, the punishment for which is a fine of up to $500, plus the cost of suppression, or both.

Open Burning:

Burning must be done:

  • Between 9 AM and 4 PM, from Jan. 15 to May 1
  • At least 75 feet from all buildings
  • As close as possible to the source of material being burned

Residents are allowed to burn:

  • Brush, cane, driftwood and forestry debris (but not from commercial or industrial landclearing)
  • Agricultural materials including fruit tree and bush prunings, raspberry stalks, andinfected 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

Residents 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

What times are best for open burning?

  • You can help prevent wildland fires by burning early in the season. Wet and snowy

winter conditions help hinder the rapid spread of fire on or under the ground.

  • Changing weather conditions and increased fire danger in spring can lead to many days

when open burning is not allowed.

  • April is usually the worst month for brush fires. When snow recedes, but before new

growth emerges, last year’s dead grass, leaves and wood are dangerous tinder.

Winds also tend to be strong and unpredictable in April.

For more information on open burning in Massachusetts, visit Mass.gov.

Fire Permits Website 

Fire Permits QR Code


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