Eric Smith, Fire Chief
8 School St.
Gloucester, MA 01930
For Immediate Release
Friday, Jan. 12, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Gloucester Fire Department Announces 2018 Burning Season, New Online Permit Procedure
GLOUCESTER — Chief Eric Smith and the Gloucester Fire Department announce that the State Open Burning Season will run from Monday, Jan. 15 through May 1, and the City will be using an online permitting system this year.
“We are extremely happy that the burn permitting process is now part of the City’s online permitting system,” Chief Smith said. “Gloucester continues to improve web-based access for our residents and businesses to obtain important information and services online, and we hope the community will take advantage of these resources.”
Permits must be obtained online at Gloucester’s Online Permitting Central, by clicking here. Those who do not have internet access can go to Fire Department Headquarters, 8 School St., and use a public access computer in the lobby to apply.
The permit fee is $25, plus an online processing fee, payable by check or credit card only. Checks can be made out to the City of Gloucester and given in-person or mailed to Gloucester Fire Headquarters. Residents should note that permits paid by check will not be approved until the check has been processed. Any returned checks must be redeemed in cash and a $25 fee for handling returned checks will be assessed. There is no additional charge for permit extensions or to replace a lost permit.
Open burning can only be conducted with a permit issued by the fire department and is only permitted for brush, cane, driftwood, forestry debris, agricultural debris, and, under limited conditions, fungus-infected elm wood. Burning grass, hay, leaves, stumps, and commercial or industrial land clearing for non-agricultural purposes is prohibited.
Permission to burn under the permit must be obtained by calling the fire station after 9:15 a.m. at 978-283-9760 ext. 1 and listening to the recorded “Open Burning Status” message for that day. Do not call 911 to request permission to burn.
The requirement to call in each day is based on changing atmospheric conditions such as wind or dryness. The on-duty Deputy Fire Chief will make a determination before 9 a.m. each day whether burning will be allowed.
Chief Smith would like to remind residents that the fire department will investigate all reports of smoke and uncontrolled fires regardless of whether a permit was issued at the address or area of the report.
Violations of the permit requirements, open burning law, and/or open burning regulations will be grounds for permit revocation. According to Massachusetts law, anyone found burning without a permit may be subject to criminal charges, the punishment for which is a fine of up to $500, plus the cost of suppression or by imprisonment for up to one month, or both.
For more information about burn permits, visit the Open Burn Permits & Regulations page on the City website by clicking here. Anyone with questions regarding opening burning should call the Gloucester Fire Department at 978-281-9760 ext. 2.