Just in time for the backyard leaf pile, the annual burn ban in 54 counties in Georgia was lifted on Oct. 1.
Summer burning restrictions are imposed annually in the primarily northern part of the state, due to air quality concerns and regulations of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Division.
“Georgians who want to burn outdoor debris piles must always get a burn permit,” said Frank Sorrells, chief of protection for the Georgia Forestry Commission. “They’re easy to secure online when local weather conditions are favorable.”
The Georgia Forestry Commission’s web address is GATrees.org and permits may also be obtained by phone at 1-877-OK2-BURN.
The 54 counties whose burning restrictions were lifted on Oct. 1 include Banks, Barrow, Hall, Jackson and Madison.
“As always, we’re asking anyone who gets a permit to be extremely careful about burning debris,” said Sorrells. “Escaped burning is Georgia’s number one cause of wildfire.”
Safety gear to have on hand before lighting a fire includes a shovel, hose and a cell phone to call 911 if needed. Only natural, hand-piled vegetation may be burned; it is unlawful to burn man-made materials such as tires, shingles and plastics. Residents seeking permission to burn larger areas or agricultural burns should contact their local Georgia Forestry Commission office.
For more information about safe burning, burn permits and services of the Georgia Forestry Commission, visit GaTrees.org.