Open burning in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is permissible from January 15 to May 1 in communities where it is allowed. Open burning is allowable between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.
The Three Rivers Fire Department will issue open burning permits to the residents of Three Rivers during normal business hours. Online permits will no longer be conducted. An official permit will be created at the department headquarters building , located at 50 Springfield Street. You will have to sign the original permit, and a copy will be given to you for your records. This step must be completed prior to any burning. There is no fee associated with this permit.
It is important to remember that when open burning, you are subject to certain requirements and responsibilities issued and enforced by the State Fire Marshals office, Department of Environmental Protection and your local Fire Department.  These regulations are there for the safety of you and your neighbors as well as the protection of the environment.
Not following open burning regulations are grounds for cancellation of a permit or a response surcharge.
Daily Activation of your permit:
Once a permit is issued, call or leave a message notifying the station business line at 413-283-7161 that you are burning. You must identify yourself with your name and permit number.

Open Burning Regulations:

  • No person shall set, maintain or increase a fire in open air at any time except by permission.
  • Must be 18 years or older to apply for permit and/or set, maintain or increase fire once permission has been granted by the Fire Department.
  • Permit holders must be the owner of the property or have permission of the property owner to obtain a permit.
  • To inquire if you’re able to burn you must call or leave a message on the station business line at 413-283-7161, no sooner than 10:00 am.
  • You must have your permit number or you will not be allowed to burn.
  • Fire must be extinguished immediately if requested by the Fire Department.
  • All open burning must be a minimum of 75 feet from buildings or structures.
  • Burning will be allowed to start at 10:00 am and must be completely extinguished by 4:00 pm.
  • Any open fire must be attended at all times by permit holder.
  • An appropriate means to extinguish an open air fire completely at the end of the day or if requested by the Fire Department.
  • Must have available a water supply, shovels and rakes for controlling the fire.
  • Permits are for: tree branches, domestic tree trimming, cane, brush, pruning, domestic garden preparation, and driftwood.
  • All other materials are illegal. No leaves, grass, hay, stumps, building debris or any other materials are allowed to be burned.
  • Three Rivers Fire Department can refuse or cancel a permit at any time. (Example: Violation of permit regulations, or change in weather conditions.)
  • If the Fire Department responds to your permitted open burn and any of the rules regulating open burning are being violated, you will be responsible for the cost of the response and the extinguishment of the illegal open burn, up to $500.00. Whoever violates any provision of 527 CMR 10.22 shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500 plus the cost of suppression or by imprisonment for not more than one month.
Department of Environmental Protection regulations (310 CMR DEP 7.07)
DEP Air Quality Advisories and Forecast Link:
Open Burning Frequently Asked Questions:
Open Burning Safety Tips: