By BRUCE STEELMAN
Burn Permit Reminder
In 2013, the Division of Forestry recorded the lowest number of wildland fires since 1927. There were a total of 639 wildfires that burned 9,033 acres (lowest burned acreage was 7,110 in 2003). Increased efforts in fire prevention and suppression contributed to this record low, and landowners getting burn permits to conduct safe debris burning was also a huge part in that effort.
Help us continue this trend! Landowners needing to burn leaves and twigs that have accumulated around the yard, or that garden spot, wildlife food plot, or fallow field, must obtain a free burn permit to do so now through May 15.
The free burn permits are required in all areas of the state by law from Oct. 15 through May 15 unless otherwise covered by local ordinances, so residents should check with their city government for any local restrictions.
The permits can be obtained by calling your local Division of Forestry office between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Phone numbers for each office can be found by visiting www.BurnSafeTN.org and clicking on the 'Burning Permits' button. Permits are also available online for small scale debris burns by clicking on the "Burning Permits Online" button on the Burning Permits page. Online applicants will be asked to submit the same information they would if applying by phone and will receive a printable permit to have on hand while conducting their burn.
Permits generally cover 24 hours and are available by phone on Fridays for weekend burning. You may also obtain a permit online on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Permits will be issued if weather conditions are considered safe for debris burning activity. Debris burning should always be done in a safe manner. Remember - Your fire is your responsibility!
More than 377,000 permits were issued last year for activities that included unconfined, outdoor burning of brush and leaves, untreated wood waste and burning to clear land. The volume of requests on any given day can be high, so the division asks residents to exercise patience if they experience any delay in getting through to an operator. And, don't forget that you can get a burn permit online for small debris piles.
614 Lehman Street