Open Fire Pits


M.G.L. c. 48, § 13 “…that persons eighteen years of age or older may, without a permit, set, maintain or increase a reasonable fire for the purpose of cooking, upon sandy or gravelly land free from living or dead vegetation…if the fire is enclosed within rocks, metal or other nonflammable material.”

527 CMR 1: 10.10.2 The AHJ (Authority having jurisdiction) shall have the authority to prohibit any or all open flames, candles, and open, recreational, and cooking fires or other sources of ignition, or establish special regulations on the use of any form of fire or smoking material where circumstances make such conditions hazardous

Yarmouth Fire Department's policy concerning the use of "Open Fire Pits" is this:

There is no type of special permit required for the use of outdoor fire pits on private property

However, these are the rules to follow.
  1. The fire must be for cooking purposes only.
  2. The fire must be enclosed within rocks, stones, metal or other nonflammable material.
  3. Keep the fire small and manageable (less than 3' in diameter).
  4. The pile cannot exceed 2 feet in height.
  5. Do not cause a nuisance to neighbors.
  6. All fire pits must be located 25 feet away from any habitable structure. (House, shed, garage, decks etc.)
  7. The fire pit must have 10 feet of clearance of any combustible material. (Fences, trees and branches, dog houses etc.)
  8. Burning of construction debris, lumber, pallets, scrap wood, leaves, yard waste, cardboard, garbage and similar items is not permitted. Never use an accelerant to light any fire.
  9. The fire must be constantly attended and supervised by someone 18 years of age or older, until the fire has been completely extinguished.
  10. It is required to keep a fire extinguisher or garden hose handy, for quick extinguishment if necessary.

11.  You should call Yarmouth Fire Department prior to lighting your outdoor fire at 508-398-2212 so we are aware that you are conducting outdoor burning.

If Yarmouth Fire Department receives complaints from neighbors that the smoke or smell is bothersome to them, we will investigate, and if deemed necessary, you may be instructed to extinguish, or allow it to burn out. If multiple complaints are justified, you will not be allowed to burn.