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Outdoor Burning Season in Lexington Starting Next Week

Get rid of brush and forestry debris.

Outdoor burning - File photo
Outdoor burning - File photo

Looking to get ride of some yard waste the old fashioned way? 

The Lexington Fire Department is reminding residents the Open Burning Season begins January 15 and runs through May 1, with several restrictions that must followed.  

First, a permit must be applied for at Lexington Fire Department at 45 Bedford Street before any burning can take place, a release from the department states. Permits are issued daily during normal business hours and there is no charge.  

A new online permitting system has been created to now allow residents to apply for brush burning permits online.  Using the Town of Lexington web site www.lexingtonma.gov go to either “Online Services” or the “Fire Department” sections and click on the labeled link. There is no fee for this required permit and it will be returned electronically to the applicant.

There are some restrictions on what can be burned. The permit allows for only the burning of brush, cane and forestry debris. No grass, hay, leaves, stumps, construction material, tires, paper or rubbish may be burned at any time.  All open fires must be located not less than 75 feet from any building or structure (including wooden, plastic or vinyl fences). In many cases this restriction alone prohibits residents from burning brush. 

"Please consider using the Town Compost Facility to dispose of yard debris, grass or leaves," the release states. 

Burning is allowed only between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., with all fires ignited prior to 2 p.m., and extinguished by 4 p.m. All fires must be attended to by a person 18 years of age or older, accompanied with a charged garden hose, or other acceptable means of extinguishments. Open burning may be conducted during periods of good atmospheric ventilation and without causing a nuisance.

Also, if at any time the National Weather Service or the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation declare a “Red Flag Warning” or “High Fire Danger”, burning is suspended until such time the warning or danger is lifted.

Those residents who have obtained a permit and wish to burn need to call 781-862-0272 ext. 300 after 9 a.m. A recording will inform you if burning is allowed that day.  Following the message as you will be asked to record your permit number at the end of the recording.

"If for any reason, the fire department responds to a Permit fire, which has gotten out of control or if the requirements of a permit are violated the fire will be extinguished and your permit to burn will be revoked for the season," the release states. "If a resident continues to burn after revocation, they will be subject to a non-criminal civil penalty of $100.00 for the first offense, $500.00 for the second offense and $1,000 for any subsequent offenses (as allowed by M.G.L. c. 148a)."

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