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Burn permits required through May 15

With the snow and ice behind us, warmer weather is springing up across the state. That’s a sign it’s time for yard and farm clean-up. With debris burning a useful tool to get rid of yard waste, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry is reminding citizens that if they plan to burn outdoors, a burn permit is required through May 15 in most counties.

“Debris burning can be a good tool for residents to clean up their yards, farms, and rural properties of vegetative waste,” State Forester David Arnold said. “We encourage all residents to use caution while conducting a burn. Free burn permits can quickly be obtained online any day, and are our way of communicating with landowners when, where, and how to burn safely.”

Materials that can be burned include leaves, branches, tree limbs, twigs, and other woody vegetation and yard trimmings gathered on site.

Debris Burn Permits for leaf and brush piles of any size are available online at no charge. For broadcast burning, such as forestry, agricultural, and land clearing, call your local Division of Forestry burn permit phone number Mon. through Fri., 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The online system for permits and phone numbers can be found at www.BurnSafeTN.org.

Permits are issued only 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.

Burning without a permit is a serious offense that can result in a fine and/or up to 30 days in jail. To report illegal burning, please call 1-888-891-TDEC. If you have information about an intentionally-set fire, call the Tennessee Arson Hotline number at 1-800-762-3017. The hotline is answered 24-hours a day, and you may remain anonymous when providing information. You could earn a cash reward from the Tennessee Advisory Committee on Arson and the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office.

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

The Division of Forestry protects Tennessee’s forests by fighting wildfires, coordinating hazard emergency response, providing prescribed fire guidance and contract services, as well as wildland fire training. Additionally, the Division promotes the responsible use of forest resources by assisting landowners, 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.