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Practice Safe Debris Burning

Tennessee urges citizens to practice safe debris burning.

NASHVILLE, TN – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry is reminding residents who want to burn yard debris to follow simple safety practices to prevent wildfires. The official start of wildfire season in Tennessee is October 15. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry requires burn permits October 15 to May 15.

The free burn permits are required by law until May 15, unless otherwise covered by local ordinances. Residents should check with their city and county government for any local requirements or restrictions.

Debris Burning image

Debris Burning image

“We’ve had a relatively low number of wildfires this year in Tennessee and we’d like to keep it that way,” State Forester Jere Jeter said. “The division’s burn permit system focuses attention on safety, and it’s important for citizens to know when, where and how to conduct a debris burn.”
The online burn permit system is free, fast and simple.  If you are burning a leaf or brush pile that is smaller than 8 feet by 8 feet in size, log on to www.burnsafetn.org for approval. More than 300,000 permits are issued each year, and the online system provides a quick and efficient way to apply.

“The division’s burn permit system focuses attention on safety, and it’s important for citizens to know when, where and how to conduct a debris burn.”

For a larger burn, apply for a free permit by calling your local Division of Forestry burn permit phone number Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Phone numbers can be found by visiting www.burnsafetn.org.

Burn permits are only issued when conditions are conducive to safe burning. If you live inside city limits, there may be additional restrictions. Check with your municipality before you burn.

More than 387,000 permits were issued last year for outdoor burning of brush and leaves, untreated wood waste, and burning to clear land. The volume of requests on any given day can be high, so the Division asks residents to exercise patience if they experience delay in reaching a permit writer. The online system is most effective obtaining a permit for a small debris burn.

Once a burn permit is obtained, debris burners should practice common sense.

  • Establish a control line around the fire, down to bare soil before conducting the burn.
  • Notify neighbors and local fire departments in advance as a courtesy.
  • Have tools on hand such as a leaf rake and garden hose or bucket of water to help control fire that escapes.
  • Watch for changing weather conditions as winds can blow the fire in the wrong direction.
  • Always stay with your fire until it is completely out. It is illegal to leave an open fire unattended.

To learn what materials may not be burned, check the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Open Burning Guidelines at www.tn.gov/environment/article/open-burning.

Burning without a permit is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine not to exceed $50. Wildfires caused by arson are a class C felony punishable by 3 to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 fines. Anyone with information about suspected arson activity should call the state Fire Marshal’s Arson Hotline at 1-800-762-3017. To report illegal burning, please call 1-888-891-TDEC.

Visit www.burnsafetn.org for additional tips to burn safely and to protect your community.
The Division of Forestry promotes the wise use of forest resources by assisting landowners, fighting wildfires, providing quality seedlings, monitoring insects and diseases, improving urban forests, managing state forests, protecting water quality and  collecting forest inventory data.

The Division also works to promote primary and secondary forest industries to stimulate the state’s economy.

Obtaining a Safe Debris Burning Permit by Phone

Burning permits by phone are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except on holidays. Permits may be obtained in advance for weekends and holidays. Permits will not be issued on days and in locations if it is considered unsafe to conduct a debris burn.

These are the list of local to where I live in Jefferson County, TN.

Visit www.tn.gov/agriculture/section/forests for more information.

If you live in another state, check with your local state, county and city burn permits.

Submitted Press Release from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture with a revision done March 21, 2016 with a second press release to combine the two.

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I am saved through the blood of Jesus Christ. I blog for God here at CourageousChristianFather.com. I serve as a youth leader, van driver and usher at my church. I also serve where ever else may be needed. I am working on a bachelor's degree in Theology. I also like to go out and hand out Gospel of John's and Gospel Tracts. I am a single father with custody of my almost adult child. I am a graphic designer too. Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle. I attained the rank of Eagle in the Boy Scouts of America in 1994.

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  1. burn permit anyone

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