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Open Brush Burning Season Starts January 15th and Ends May 1st

Permits for COOKING FIRES are different than Open Burning Permits; Contact the fire department for details.

In accordance with the regulations issued by the Southeastern Massachusetts Pollution Control District regarding open burning, in order to burn in the Town of Brewster:

  •  Permits must be obtained annually, in person, at the Brewster fire station (1657 Main Street).
  • Persons wishing to burn must get permission from the fire department by calling 508-896-7018, between 09:00 A.M. and 12:00 P.M., for each day of intended burning*;
  • Adverse meteorological conditions, including rain, fog, or snow may influence the decision whether or not to allow open burning; and
  • Permits are $10.00 and are valid for an entire burning season (January 15-May 1)**.

The following rules apply to open burning:

  •  Burning must not cause a nuisance;
  • Burning must be done with smoke minimizing starters;
  • Burning must take place on the land closest to the source of the material to be burned, according to Department of Environmental Protection regulations (310 CMR DEP 7.07);
  • Burning must take place at the LOCATION specified on the issued permit (a permit is only valid for a single location);
  • Burning must be at least 75 feet from all buildings;
  • A responsible person MUST be in attendance AT ALL TIMES while the fire is burning;
  • Have an available hose and water supply, as well as shovels or rakes present for controlling the fire;
  • Burning may not commence after 12:00 P.M.;
  • All burning will cease and fires shall be extinguished by 4:00 P.M.;
  • The Brewster Fire Department reserves the right to inspect a burning site at any time.

*Weather conditions can change rapidly, especially in the spring, and the fire department will determine on a daily basis when it is safe to conduct open burning. If winds kick up or other atmospheric conditions change suddenly, making it unsafe to burn, permits can be rescinded.*


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

  •  Brush, cane, driftwood, and forestry debris from other than commercial and/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.

Open Burning Regulations Prohibit the following, statewide:

  • Burning of brush, trees, cane and driftwood from commercial and/or industrial land clearing operations.
  • Burning of grass, hay, leaves and stumps, and tires.
  • Burning of trees.
  • Burning during adverse meteorological conditions.
  • Burning at landfills or refuse disposal facilities other than approved incinerators.
  • Burning construction material and debris.
  • Stacking, placing, or storing combustible material such that the fire department may presume that it will be burned.

**Infractions to the above regulations by any violators may result in revocation of a permit and cancellation of open burning for the remainder of the open burning season. In certain cases fines may even be levied**


Who may burn:

  •  Those who have PERMISSION from the fire department or forest warden;
  • Those affiliated with an official fire fighting agency who are engaged in training activities or combating or backfiring an existing fire; and
  • Those who are open buring primarily for cooking purposes.

How to conduct open burning:

  • An adult MUST always be present during open burning and children and pets should be kept a safe distance away.
  • Keep a nearby water supply such as a garden hose, pump can, or pressurized water can.
  • Tools, such as rakes and shovels, must be on hand for fire control purposes.
  • 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.