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Burn Permits Required Until May 15th

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Burn Permits Required Until May 15th

Good weather and yard cleanup make for a good time for fires, but a burn permit is required by the state until May 15th.

Tim Phelps is the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Cumberland District Communication Officer. Phelps said permits are used to protect against wildfires.

“Burn permits are our way of communicating with residents when, where and how it is safe to conduct a debris fire,” Phelps said. “Quite honestly, if it is too windy or too dry out or expecting some erratic wind behavior, we just won’t issue permits.”

Phelps said using the means of fire to burn brush is encouraged, but safety comes first. Phelps said the online process to earn a burn permit takes less than five minutes.

“It is an efficient way to get read of the vegetative material,” Phelps said. “So, we want to encourage that. We want to make sure folks are doing it safely. When you get a permit, you can get it online at”

Phelps said the beginning of March is considered a hot period for wildfires. When starting an open air fire, Phelps said notify your neighbors, keep a water source nearby and have a rake or shovel on hand.

“Stay with your fire at all times,” Phelps said. “Not only is it the law, it is just common sense. Embers can fly up and get carried away, and if an ember lands on dry vegetation in a nearby forest or nearby grassland, it is very likely to catch on fire.”

If burn permits are not being issued, Phelps said that does not mean a burn ban is in place. Burn bans are the next level above a day permit not being given. Phelps said to just wait a day or two until conditions favor creating a debris fire.


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