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Hopedale Burning Permit fees forgiven for 2021 Town officials cite health safety concerns

Jan 29, 2021 10:36AM ● By Theresa Knapp

The Board of Selectmen have forgiven the fee for a burning permit this year “in a continuous effort to follow Covid protocol and try to limit Fire Department members’ interaction with the public and vice versa,” said Fire Chief Thomas Daige in a letter to the selectmen. 

Open-air brush burning season runs from January 15 to May 1 each year and the annual fee is $5.00 per season. Forgiving the fee will eliminate the need for residents to go to the firehouse to pay the fee and fill out the paperwork, said Chief Daig, noting the Fire Department currently only accepts cash but is exploring an electronic permitting system.

Hopedale collects approximately $600 each year in burning permit fees. 

“It doesn’t get down to a revenue issue, it gets down to a safety issue,” said Board of Selectmen Chairman Brian Keyes. 

Residents are asked to call the Fire Department at 508-473-1050 on the day they want to burn to provide their name, address and phone number. If granted permission, burning hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

When burning, there must be a water source nearby (like a garden house), the fire must be 75 feet away from all structures, burn brush only, and the fire must be attended by a person 18 years or older. 

Items that CAN be burned include brush, cane, driftwood, and forestry debris.

Items that CANNOT be burned include leaves, grass, hay, leaves, stumps, tires, construction materials, and trash. 

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