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HomeNewsTennessee State Forester Urges Citizens to Practice Safe Debris Burning

Tennessee State Forester Urges Citizens to Practice Safe Debris Burning

Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry

Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of ForestryNashville, TN – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry is observing National Fire Prevention Week by reminding citizens to follow simple safety practices to prevent wildfires. The official start of wildfire season in Tennessee is October 15th, 2018.

Burn permits required October 15th-May 15th.
Burn permits required October 15th-May 15th.

“With the recent and forecasted rain, we expect favorable conditions for safe debris burning over the next couple of months,” Tennessee State Forester David Arnold said. “However, we shouldn’t let our guard down. We encourage Tennesseans to remain vigilant and practice safe debris burning to prevent wildfires.”

Obtaining a burn permit is free, fast, and simple. If you are burning a leaf or brush pile that is smaller than 8 feet by 8 feet in size, our online system provides a quick and efficient way to apply. For a larger burn, call your local Division of Forestry burn permit phone number Monday through Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm. The online system and burn permit phone numbers can be found at www.BurnSafeTN.org.

More than 300,000 permits are issued each year, and they are only issued when conditions are conducive to safe burning. If you live inside city limits, there may be additional restrictions. Check with your municipality before you burn.

For a list of materials that may not be burned, check the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s open burning guidelines at www.tn.gov/environment/program-areas/apc-air-pollution-control-home/apc/open-burning.html

Burning without a permit is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine. Wildfires caused by arson are a class C felony punishable by 3 to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Anyone with information about suspected arson activity should call the state Fire Marshal’s Arson Hotline at 1.800.762.3017. The hotline is answered 24 hours a day, and you may remain anonymous when providing information. Cash awards are offered for information leading to an arrest or conviction.

To report illegal burning, please call 1.888.891.TDEC.

Visit www.BurnSafeTN.org for additional tips to burn safely and to protect your community.

About Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry

The Division of Forestry promotes the wise use of forest resources by assisting landowners, fighting wildfires, providing quality seedlings, monitoring insects and diseases, improving urban forests, managing state forests, protecting water quality, and collecting forest inventory data. The Division also works to promote primary and secondary forest industries to stimulate the state’s economy.

Visit www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests for more information.

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