DEEP: Open Burning - Municipal

Municipal Open Burning
Information on Restrictions, Conditions, Training & Permitting
Municipal Open Burning
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, questions or concerns relating to the health effects created or experienced during open burning by a local municipality should be directed to your local Health Department.
In the case of an emergency please call 911 or your local Fire Department.
Open Burning Officials
An Open Burning Official must be selected by a town and nominated by that town’s Chief Executive Officer. Following the selection and nomination process, the individual must complete the online training course and pass the open burning exam to be certified by DEEP. Upon certification by DEEP, the Open Burning Official may administer a local open burning program as well as issue permits allowing local residents to conduct open burning in their town.
Related Fact Sheets
A town may burn clean brush at its Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) permitted transfer station, landfill, or recycling center. 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. Please visit DEEP’s Construction & Demolition Waste or the Composting & Organics Recycling web pages for more information. 
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.
  1. The burning must not take place when national or state ambient air quality standards may be exceeded.
  2. The burning must not take place where a hazardous health condition might be created or where there is an advisory from the DEEP Commissioner of any air pollution episode.
  3. The burning must not take place when the Air Quality Index (AQI) is predicted to be 75 or higher in any town listed in the table entitled “Predicted Daily AQI Maximums".
  4. The burning must not take place when the Forest Fire Danger Level is identified by DEEP as high, very high, or extreme.
  5. The burning must not take place where prohibited by an ordinance of the municipality.
  6. The burning must cease if so directed by the local Fire Marshal or DEEP.
Additional applicable conditions include but are not limited to:
  • Before the burn:
    • All reasonable safety precautions are to be taken including but not limited: to the clearing of grass and trees from the burning area, and wetting down of the surrounding area.
    • DEEP must be notified in advance of the burn at (860) 424-3436 the morning of the burn or on the Friday preceding a weekend burn.
  • During 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 from DEEP must be available on-site.
    • 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:
    • The burn pile must be completely extinguished by 5 p.m.
    • All embers and coals must be extinguished and wetted, so as to prevent smoldering and fugitive ash emissions.
    •  The burn pile must be sized so as to be completely consumed within the prescribed burn window.
Requests for permit applications/templates, and/or questions relating to municipal open burning may be sent to: .
Content Last Updated on January 10, 2014.