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Open Burning in Massachusetts is regulated by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and enforced by the Essex Fire Department.  Open burning season runs from Jan 15 – May 1.  A valid permit obtained from the local fire department is required. The Fire Chief reserves the right to deny or cancel open burning on any day due to weather or environmental conditions.

Open burning permits are available from the Fire Department at the beginning of January.  There is a $20.00 fee for the burn permit. Senior’s age 60 and over are allowed to purchase a permit for a $10.00 fee. We encourage the use of our online system to register for your permit, and to activate it daily.

Obtaining a Permit for Open Burning:

You can obtain your open burning permit in one of two ways:

1.      To obtain your permit online, you will need to agree to the terms and conditions of the open burning regulations. This permit will be valid through May 1st. The ability to obtain a burning permit on line is a service of a third party vendor not affiliated with the Town of Essex. As such, the Town of Essex is not responsible for any problems associated with the service and is not liable for any of your private information. You will be leaving the Town of Essex website to process your transaction with this third party.You will receive a confirmation email/ receipt from with your permit number which will be required each time your burning permit during the burning season.


2.      We encourage you to obtain your burning permit online. However, if you are unable to obtain a permit online, you may purchase a permit in person at the Essex Fire Department daily between 9 AM-12 noon. Fire personel will enter your needed information and issue you a paper permit with a permit number, for a fee payable by CHECKS ONLY (No cash will be accepted). You must retain this permit number! If you want to burn on a particular day and do not have your permit number, you will not be allowed to burn.

Daily Activation of Your Permit:

1.      If burning is allowed, you will need to input and submit your permit information between the hours of 9:00am and 12:00pm. If you use the online activation application, you do not need to call the Fire Department.


2.      We encourage you to activate your permit online, however if necessary, you may also contact the Essex Fire Department each day between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. at 978-768-6363 to obtain permission to burn for the day. You MUST have your permit number, and be prepared to give name, address and telephone numbers.

The Essex Fire Department may alter, limit, restrict or cancel permits because of drought, equipment problems or apparatus out of service.

*** No permits can be activated after 12 noon. ****     
All fires must be completely extinguished by 4:00 PM


Any questions on open burning should be directed to Fire Chief Daniel Doucette. or 978-768-6363

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