What You Need to Know About Open Burning Season

Other than that it begins tomorrow, Jan. 15.

The following information was provided by the Lexington Fire Department.

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

A permit must be applied for at Lexington Fire Department Headquarters located 45 Bedford Street before any burning can take place. 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 website, 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.

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.

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.

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 shall 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. If a resident continues to burn after revocation, they will be subject to a non-criminal civil penalty of $100 for the first offense, $500 for the second offense and $1,000 for any subsequent offenses (as allowed by M.G.L. c. 148a).


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