Outdoor burning will again be permitted beginning October 1 in 54 Georgia counties where restrictions have been in place since May. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division issues the burn ban annually to help reduce emissions from ground level ozone that may jeopardize air quality, mostly in north Georgia.
Burn permits issued by the Georgia Forestry Commission are required for any outdoor burning in the state to help prevent wildfires and problems generated by smoke. They may be
obtained at GaTrees.org or by calling 1-877-O-K-2-BURN.
“The GFC will resume issuing burn permits on a day to day basis in counties that have been under the EPD ban all summer,” said Frank Sorrells, Chief of Protection for the Georgia Forestry Commission. “We’ll be following our normal fire danger and smoke management procedures.”
Sorrells said many areas of the state are currently experiencing dry conditions, causing grasses and vegetation to burn readily. Rainfall in the next few weeks will be critical to reduce the threats of wildfire as we move into the fall and winter months, he said. The Georgia Forestry Commission also promotes prescribed burning for the many wildfire prevention and forest management benefits it provides.
“Safety is our top concern,” said Sorrells, “and we’re asking everyone to be extra cautious when doing open burning of any kind.” According to Sorrells, escaped debris burns are the number one cause of wildfires in our state, and it may be necessary and wise to delay or postpone open burning if local conditions are unfavorable. The GFC advises burners to always keep tools on hand, such as water, a shovel and a cell phone. Never hesitate to call 911, and never leave your fire unattended.
For more information, contact:
The 54 counties whose EPD summer burn bans have been lifted are: Banks, Barrow, Bartow, Bibb, Butts, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, Columbia, Coweta, Crawford, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Fulton, Gordon, Gwinnett, Hall, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, Lumpkin, Madison, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Paulding, Peach, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Putnam, Richmond, Rockdale, Spalding, Troup, Twiggs, Upson, Walker and Walton.
For specific information about conducting open burning, permitting requirements and current fire conditions in your area, contact your county’s GFC office or visit GaTrees.org.