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Burn Permits Required Through May 15th

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

Maybe some weekend work planned outside? A reminder that burn permits are still required region-wide.

The state requires burn permits until May 15 when humidity increases. Baxter Fire Chief Matthew White said the cities in Putnam County require burn permits year-round.

“Every city has their own ordinance and issues their own fire permits,” White said. “Outside of the city limits the Tennessee State Forestry Division issues permits. So most of them are very similar. Most of the cities have the same type of policy and the same type of ordinances.

White said daily permits can be requested through your city’s Fire Department. He said Baxter’s permits are free and you can obtain them with a notification to make sure you’re within the rules.

White said the Fire Department considers many factors to determine when they allow burn permits.

“It’s monitored several different ways through wind speed, humidity, draught situations that take place,” White said. “So there are several factors that go into place to determine when we’ll stop burning and when we’re going to allow it.”

Most burn permits grant permission for the day White said. But extensions can be granted.

“The day of the issue is what we do and most cities do the same thing. They can be extended depending on the circumstances whether it’s a contractor development or a large pile. Those are case-to-case allowed by the Fire Chief in most cities.”

Although Putnam County requires burn permits 365 days a year, White said a few exemptions exist. Outdoor fires for cooking or fire pits screened in so that embers don’t come out.

To request a burn permit through the state, visit


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