Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

March 30, 2010

Burn permits required through May 15

Visible signs of spring are beginning to emerge as warm temperatures and sunny skies push back the doldrums from what has been one of the coldest winters on record. As Tennesseans begin to take advantage of this weather to do some yard work around the home or farm, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry wants to remind folks that if they are considering conducting an open burn, a burn permit is required in advance of such activity.

“Burning vegetative material that has accumulated around the yard or using fire to clear an old field can be an efficient tool to get rid of such debris,” said State Forester Steven Scott. “However, it is very important that citizens practice safe outdoor burning recommendations. Obtaining a burn permit in advance of debris burning is our way of making the public aware of those recommendations and helping them know when, where and how it is safe to burn.”

The free burn permits are required in all areas of the state by law from now until May 15 unless otherwise covered by local ordinances, so residents should check with their local government for other restrictions. The permits can be obtained by calling your local Division of Forestry office between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Phone numbers for each office can be found in the state government section of your local phone book, or by visiting www.BurnSafeTN.org and clicking on the ‘Burn Permits’ button for a list of phone numbers by county. Permits are generally good for 24 hours and can be issued for weekend burns.

More than 415,000 permits were issued last year for activities that included unconfined, 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 any delay in getting through to an operator.

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