Fire Marshal / Open Burning

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Rules & Regulations for conducting Open Burning

Residential property is property that is used exclusively for residential purposes, consisting of one to four dwelling units. Prior to burning, the resident, or individual seeking to burn on the residential property where he or she resides, must have a valid, signed permit from the local Open Burning Official. Contact the Town Hall at (860) 653-6800 for information. The permit does not relieve the permittee of any legal liability, which may be incurred as a result of the fire. Burning on property not zoned or classified as residential is prohibited.

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 (3”) 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, garbage, paper, plastic, painted material or leaves.


  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.
  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 cease if so directed by any member of the Hartland Fire Marshal's office, Fire Department officer, or any official of the Farmington Valley Health Department or CT-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, and placement of fire extinguishers and hose lines.
  • During the burn:
    • All reasonable measures to assure complete combustion and reduce excessive smoke are to be taken.
    • At no time during the burn should the fire be left unattended.
    • The permit must be available on site during the burn.
    • Burning may not create a nuisance to nearby properties.
    • Burning may only be conducted between the hours of 10:00AM and 5:00PM on a sunny or partly sunny day with the wind speed between 5 and 15 miles per hour. (not allowed during rain or overcast conditions)
  • Completionof the burn period:
    • the burn pile must be completely extinguished by 5:00PM.
    • all embers and coals must be extinguished and wetted, so as to prevent smoldering and fugitive ash emissions.

Failure to adhere to the conditions of the permit may result in penalties and/or enforcement actions.

CT General Statutes - Section 23-48 (as amended by PA 01-150):

Any person who kindles or directs another to kindle a fire in the open air, without proper authorization from state or local authorities or any person who burns materials that are prohibited from being burned by any provision of the general statutes, regulation of the state or local ordinance, shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than six months or both.

JUL 2015

Campfires, Bonfires, Fire Pits & Chimineas

The burning of wood in a campfire, bonfire, chiminea or other similar devices is prohibited if the burning is conducted so that it creates a nuisance for neighbors.

Campfires and/or bonfires are not defined by state statute or regulation, except for the type of wood which can be burned.

Incomplete combustion that typically occurs when wood is burned in a campfire, bonfire, fire pit, chiminea or similar device can create large amounts of smoke and un-burnt particulate matter; this pollutes the air and can make it difficult for people with respiratory problems to breathe, particularly in densely populated areas. Excessive smoke emitted into the atmosphere at ground level can be a nuisance to your neighbors.

A nuisance is considered to be the unreasonable, unwarranted, or unlawful use of one’s property in a manner that substantially interferes with the use or enjoyment of another individual’s real property, without an actual trespass or physical invasion to the land.


  1. Burn only clean, non-processed wood. No wood pallets, construction debris, painted wood, stained/treated wood, or garbage can be burned in a campfire/bonfire, fire pit, chiminea or other similar device. Non-processed wood is considered to be any untreated, natural wood up to and including rough cut lumber. Processed wood is considered to be any wood that has been milled and/or planed and includes recycled wood, glued wood, treated wood, pallets, crates, and/or wood scraps from these types of materials.

Safety Concerns: When burning wood in a campfire/bonfire or in one of the above-mentioned devices, the utmost caution must be exercised to prevent injury to yourself or others and to prevent damage to your home or property.


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