Municipal Open Burning

A municipality may burn clean brush at its DEEP permitted transfer station, landfill, or recycling center. A municipality may burn up to six times a year with a permit from DEEP. The permit is valid only when signed by a duly authorized representative of the DEEP, Bureau of Air Management. A permit application must be submitted to the Commissioner by the Fire Marshal, with the approval of the Chief Elected Official of the municipality. Requests for permit applications may be sent to: The permit does not relieve the permittee of any legal liability which may be incurred as a result of the fire. Failure to adhere to the conditions of the permit may result in penalties and/or other enforcement actions.

Open Burning Restrictions

Open burning is limited to the burning of brush only , which is defined as shrubs, vegetation or prunings, the diameter of which is not greater than three inches at the widest point. Leaves and grass are not considered brush. Open burning is not allowed for the purpose of clearing land, or for the disposal of construction debris, household trash, or leaves. Open burning is not allowed:
  • to clear land prior to construction activities
  • as a means to dispose of construction debris, household trash, or leaves
  • if the Air Quality Index (AQI) is forecasted to be 100 or higher anywhere in the state
  • if the Forest Fire Danger Index is rated High, Very High, or Extreme
  • if national or state ambient air quality standards may be exceeded
  • if a hazardous health condition might be created
  • if there is an advisory from DEEP of any air pollution episode
  • where prohibited by an ordinance of the municipality
  • if directed by any member of the town Fire Marshal's office or DEEP

Requests for permit applications/templates, and/or questions relating to municipal open burning may be sent to:

Additional Applicable Conditions

Before the Burn

All reasonable safety precautions are to be taken including but not limited:

  • clearing of grass and trees from the burning area
  • wetting down of the surrounding area
  • DEEP must be notified in advance of the burn via email at the morning of the burn or on the Friday preceding a weekend burn

After the Burn

  • all reasonable measures to assure complete combustion and reduce excessive smoke are to be taken
  • a staffed fire-fighting truck with water must be stationed at the burning site for the duration of the burn
  • the permit must be available on site during the burn
  • burning may only be conducted between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on a sunny or partly sunny day with the wind speed between 5 and 15 miles per hour

Completion of the Burn Period

  • the burn pile must be completely extinguished by 5 p.m.
  • the burn pile must be sized so as to be completely consumed within the prescribed burn window
  • all embers and coals must be extinguished and wetted, so as to prevent smoldering and fugitive ash emissions

Do you have a complaint regarding open burning on DEEP permitted municipal property?

Smoke, nuisance odors, or other complaints regarding open burning on a piece of property owned by the town are best directed to DEEP. Please email your complaint to or call the complaint line at (860) 424-3436.

Issues or concerns relating to the health effects created or experienced during open burning should be directed to your local Open Burning Official as well as your local Health Department.

In the case of an emergency please call 911 or your local Fire Department.


Content Last Updated on: December 10, 2021