A Message from @NorthAndoverFD: Open Burning and Fire Pit Regulations

Good morning,

Burning season begins today, January 15, and ends May 1.  Please see the information below regarding open burning regulations and permits, as well as fire pit regulations.  

Help us reduce the risk of fire – never leave a flame unattended (this includes cooking and candles as well as open burning and fire pits).

Open Burning Regulations and Permits

Any residents wishing to participate in this annual event must obtain a permit online at the North Andover Fire Department website – nafd.us.


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.

Each day a determination will be made by 9:30 a.m. whether burning will be allowed, this decision to allow burning is based on changing atmospheric conditions such as wind or dryness and recommendations made by the state. If winds kick up or other atmospheric conditions change suddenly, making it unsafe to burn, permits can be rescinded (cancelled).

Due to the nature of our job and emergencies that arise, there may occasionally be a delay in getting that decision sent out. We will get it out as soon as possible.

Step 1: Click here to Read all Burning Regulations.

Step 2: Complete the Burn Permit Application.*

Step 3: Activate your valid Burn Permit when burning on allowed days

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 Burn Permits & Regulations page on the North Andover Fire Departments website by clicking here.  Anyone with questions regarding opening burning should call the North Andover Fire Department at 978-688-9595.

Fire Pit Regulations

The North Andover Fire Department allows the use of  Fire Pits, Chimineas and Outdoor Fireplaces provided the following conditions are met:

  • The Fire must be small and manageable, no greater than 3 feet in diameter. By definition, a fire larger than 3 feet is no longer considered a cooking or recreational fire.
  • All fires must be constantly attended by a competent person until extinguished. (21 or older)
  • A water supply or an extinguisher capable of extinguishing the fire must be within 75 feet of the fire.
  • The Fire Pit, Chiminea, or fireplace will be on a non-combustible surface at grade level and not under any type of overhang, roof or canopy
  • Fires will not be located within 25 feet  of a structure or combustible material and any condition that could cause fire to spread within this area will be removed prior to ignition.
  • The fire and/or smoke cannot pose a hazard to any property.
  • The Smoke from any device cannot create a nuisance or health hazard to the neighborhood.
  • Finally common sense must be used!!! A screen should be used to prevent embers from igniting nearby combustibles. Never use flammable fluids to start your fire. Only ordinary firewood is to be burned: No construction debris, leaves, household trash, hazardous waste, or chemicals may be burned at any time.

If the North Andover Fire Department is called to your house for any type of outside fire, we reserve the right to order any fire be extinguished at the officer’s discretion.
The above rules do not affect the rules pertaining to permitted open burning season.

If you have any questions pertaining to this guideline, please contact the Fire Prevention Office during normal business hours at 978-688-9590

Thank you.
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