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Fire Permits Now Required, Critical This Year Due To Dry Weather

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Fire Permits Now Required, Critical This Year Due To Dry Weather

A permit for outdoor burning is now required until May 15 under state law, as the state enters the driest part of the year.

Assistant District Forester Joel Blackburn said getting a permit will be especially important this year considering how dry the weather has been. Blackburn said weather is something people often do not consider when starting a fire and the permit process allows communication between a person and an official on potential dangers of burning on that particular day. He said other than getting a burn permit there is one other golden rule to fire safety.

“Don’t go in the house and make a sandwich and forget you have a fire in the backyard,” Blackburn said. “So stay with the fire. Have tools available. Have water available if you have a hose that can reach it, but don’t trust a fire so don’t leave it unattended. Now that fire can creep. The wind can blow embers and create spot fires.”

Blackburn said you can call to get a burn permit. However, he said wait times can be long. He said the easiest way to obtain a burn permit is online.

Blackburn said you cannot burn household trash including cardboard, tires and treated wood. The burn permit is only for brush or natural vegetation grown on site.

“It has to do with air quality, air pollution,” Blackburn said. “Some of those materials may have glue or synthetic chemicals that will be released in the fire from the smoke.”

Blackburn said the permit dates are set to line up with the time of year when the most potential fuel is on the ground.

“Oddly, we’re the exact opposite of the West Coast, so during the summer months the West Coast has their fire season,” Blackburn said. “Because we live in a region with a lot of hardwood trees, we get to enjoy the colors of the leaves during the fall but as those leaves come down on to the ground they dry out and turn into fuel. So we do have a lot of fuels on the ground between October until late spring going into May.”


The post Fire Permits Now Required, Critical This Year Due To Dry Weather appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.