Open Burning

Fee: $10 paid by exact cash amount or check

Open Burn Season
The open burn season begins January 15 and runs through May 1.

Burn Permit
In order to burn you must first obtain an open burning permit at the Ipswich Fire Department Fire Prevention Office. Permits are issued Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The open burning permit is valid for the entire season. Cost of the permit is $10, payable by check made out to the Ipswich Fire Department or by cash. If paying by cash, you must have the exact dollar amount.

Verbal Permission
Secondly, on the day in which you wish to burn, you must call for verbal permission no earlier than 9:30 a.m. and before 2 p.m. The Fire Prevention Office can be reached at 978-356-6660. Have your permit number available when you call in. If the weather and atmospheric conditions are favorable, permission will be granted.

What are favorable weather conditions? It must not be either too dry nor too windy. What most people don't realize is that good atmospheric conditions must also exist. This means a little vertical air movement is needed to take the smoke up and away from the ground. Dampness, rain and fog may cause excessive smoke to remain near the ground becoming a nuisance that may be hazardous as well as creating unhealthy air quality.

Burning Rules
  • Burning can only begin after 10 a.m. and must be completely extinguished by 4 p.m.
  • Only brush, trees, cane, tree pruning's, forestry debris from other than commercial land clearing, and driftwood may be burned.
  • The burning of grass, hay, leaves, stumps, rubbish, tires, building materials, and commercial land clearing is strictly prohibited.
  • Fires must be at least 75 feet from any dwelling and on land close to where it was generated.
  • Someone must be in attendance of the fire at all times.
  • Keep the brush pile small and manageable.
  • Never use gasoline to start the fire.
  • A hose, water, rake, and shovel must be available to control the fire.
Note: Suspension of the permit and or a fine may result for violating the conditions of the permit.

For more information visit the Mass.gov website for Safety Tips for Open Burning Season.