One week remains in open burning season - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

One week remains in open burning season

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)
SOUTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

There are just seven days left in the open burning season in the Bay State, but this final stretch has been busy for many local fire departments. 

In fact, this weekend, crews in Tolland and Springfield responded to brush fires and in Southampton, two popped up on opposite sides of town.

With just a week left of the open burning season, it's not uncommon for folks to get rid of the dead leaves and yard debris, but "this weekend was a busy one," said Southampton Fire Chief John Workman.

Workman told Western Mass News that his department responded to two brush fires just this Sunday. 

"As the weather gets warm, everyone is trying to get it in and when the weather is nice, the wind kicks up and we get really busy," Workman added.

Brush season is regulated by the state and local fire departments issue burning permits until May 1. 

Both fires this weekend on Montgomery and near White Loaf Road were permitted open burns that got a bit of control. 

Luckily, no structures were damaged and the department was staffed.

"We had a lot of folks come in and we had Southampton guys covering and the one on Montgomery, we brought Montgomery in.  Everyone works together.  It can be a very busy time of year," Workman explained.

Workman said that you not only need a permit, but you should call your local department as conditions change and they will let you know if you're allowed to burn on that day.   He noted that the DEP, the state agency that oversees permits, can differ with the opinion of local departments.

"They like breezy days.  Fire departments don't, so if it's breezy, we don't allow it," Workman said. 

On Monday, permitted burning was allowed in town, with a note of caution to residents.

"We really emphasize for folks to be careful, have a water supply right there, and if the wind picks up, use common sense and shut it down," Workman added.

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