Outdoor Fire Regulations


Bonfires such as the annual Christmas tree burning are large in scale with significant crowds.  The town selectmen authorize the head of the fire department to issue one (1) permit for this purpose per year.  The fires are located on town land, ignited and maintained by the fire department.  Non-fire personnel shall not light bonfires on public or private land without authorization by selectmen and the head of the fire department.

Open Fires:

Open fires are allowed from January 15th to May 1st.  This type of fire requires fire department dispatch (dispatch) notification and shall only occur from 6:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Dispatch can be contacted using the non-emergency number at (781) 631-1212.  Dispatch will check the fire index issued by the forest warden and allow the fire when conditions permit it.  Wind and precipitation are two of the criteria the forest warden use in rating each day.  This type of fire falls under the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) which requires a minimum distance of 75 feet from any structure.  Open burning is limited to brush (no milled lumber, trash, stumps or leaves).

Recreational Fires (approved manor):

This type of fire is less than 4 feet in diameter and shall be contained.  Rocks in a circle, metal fire pits, and clay chimneys would be considered “approved”.  Distance should be maintained as not to melt, char, or ignite combustible materials.  This type of fire does not require a permit.  If the fire is not contained in an approved manner it shall be no closer than 25 feet from combustibles.  Trash shall not be burned in recreational fires.

Cooking Fires:

Cooking fires such as hibachis’, grills and smokers do not require a permit.

Devereux/Stramski Beach:

Cooking fires on provided hibachis’ is allowed.  Permits can be obtained through the Parks and Recreation Department.  All other types of fires are prohibited.

Goldthwait Beach:

Permit through the Goldthwaite Association with notification to Fire Department dispatch at (781) 631-1212.  Fires in designated burn areas only.

All Other Private Beaches:

Recreational fires 4 feet or smaller by members and or owners of beaches, with notification to dispatch.  All fires are prohibited from decks, balconies, and porches with the exceptions of:

  • Single family dwellings can have grills, smokers and hibachis;
  • Gas cooking appliances piped and installed under manufacturers specifications, all dwellings;
  • All of the above fires shall have a means to extinguish them, such as a garden hose or fire extinguisher;
  • All fires shall be monitored by a person 18 years or older from the time it is lit to the complete extinguishment.