Burning Permits

Burning Permit Information


Open burning, with a permit issued by the Ashland Fire Department, is allowed from January 15th to May 1st, under regulations of the state of Massachusetts. Permits are granted at the sole discretion of the Fire Chief and/or the Duty Officer pending weather conditions. In addition, if air pollution levels are too great Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection can prohibit burning on a daily basis.

For more information, visit the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Air and Climate page.

Steps to Obtain Permission to Burn


  1. You can apply for a permit online HERE or come to Ashland Fire Station 2 at 70 Cedar Street, during normal business hours, to obtain a permit. You will provide your address, contact information and then sign your permit stating you understand the rules and regulations about burning. There is no fee.
  2. On the day you would like to burn call the department burning line that is on your permit after 9 a.m. to see if we are allowing burning.
  3. If burning is being allowed, leave your name and address when prompted and you may start burning at 10 a.m.

Burning Rules & Regulations


  1. Permits do not carry over yearly, each permit issued for the burning season expires on May 1st of the year issued.
  2. Burning must be at least 75 feet from all dwellings.
  3. Burning can not start before 10 a.m.
  4. Burning must start before 1 p.m.
  5. Fires must be out by 4 p.m.
  6. Burning must take place on land closest to the source of material to be burned.
  7. Fires must be supervised by an adult at all times.
  8. A water source (hose) must be close by at all time.
  9. There is no burning allowed on the day of the Boston Marathon (the 3rd Monday in April).
  10. May 1st is the last day you are permitted to burn, there are no extensions for poor weather/air quality.

What Can Be Burned


  • Brush, cane, driftwood, and forestry debris not from commercial or industrial land clearing
  • Materials normally associated with the pursuit of agriculture, such as fruit tree pruning, dead raspberry stalks, blueberry patches for pruning purposes, infected beehives for disease control
  • Trees and brush resulting from agricultural land clearing
  • Fungus invested Elmwood if no other acceptable means of disposal is available (disease-free brush is not an acceptable starting aid)

What Cannot Be Burned


  • Leaves, grass, hay, and stumps
  • Material over 4 inches in diameter
  • Brush, trees, cane, and driftwood from commercial and/or institutional land clearing operations
  • Tires and trash