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July 15, 2024 Clouds | 72°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 13: Setting open air fires; conditions and restrictions; penalty for violation

Section 13. No person shall set, maintain or increase a fire in the open air at any time except by permission, covering a period not exceeding two days from the date thereof, granted by the forest warden or chief of the fire department in cities and towns, or, in cities having such an official, the fire commissioner; provided, that if such permission is not in writing, a written record of the granting thereof, setting forth the date upon which permission was granted, the dates covered by such permission, the name and address of the person to whom, and the manner in which, such permission was granted, and any other necessary information relative thereto, shall be made and kept by the forest warden, chief or fire commissioner, as the case may be, and shall be open to public inspection; and provided further, that persons eighteen years of age or older may, without a permit, set, maintain or increase a reasonable fire for the purpose of cooking, upon sandy or gravelly land free from living or dead vegetation or upon sandy or rocky beaches bordering on tidewater, if the fire is enclosed within rocks, metal or other nonflammable material. The forest warden, chief or fire commissioner, as the case may be, may make it a condition for granting a permit that any burning shall be done only after four o'clock (eastern standard time) in the afternoon, and in the case of a permit for a demolition burning may make it a condition for granting such permit that sufficient fire department personnel, to be assigned by proper authority at the expense of the person seeking such permit, shall be present at such burning to control the fire until it is entirely extinguished. Any permit granted under this section may be revoked at any time. The forester may make rules and regulations relating to the granting and revocation of such permits binding throughout the commonwealth. Such rules and regulations shall take effect subject to section thirty-seven of chapter thirty, when approved by the governor and council. The forest wardens in towns and officials performing the duties of forest wardens in cities shall cause public notice to be given of the provisions of this section and shall enforce the same. Whoever violates any provision of this section 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 or both. In this section, a demolition burning shall mean a fire set for the purpose of burning debris resulting from the demolition of buildings.