Winder, Barrow County lift total burn ban

WINDER - If you haven't noticed, it's OK to burn leaves again in Winder and Barrow County.

Or, at least, it's okay on most days.

Like Gwinnett, cities and towns in Barrow can dispose of fallen leaves in the customary manner - burning - on a day-to-day basis, as judged by fire officials.

After a few splatters of rain and some pressure from commercial developers, officials in Winder and Barrow opted to lift the total burn ban on Nov. 27.

Although relieved, residents should remain careful while burning in this historically dry state, said Winder Fire Department Chief Raymond Mattison.

"We have not had any difficulties because of this," Mattison said. "Everyone's been cautious."

Mattison said officials are coordinating with the Georgia Forestry Commission to evaluate which days are good for burning and which aren't.

Like most of north Georgia, Winder and Barrow County were forced to endure an autumn without burning leaves.

The ban on burning permits, which are required to ignite leaves and debris, was the first of its kind in Winder, Mattison previously said.

The open-burning ban imposed by the state normally runs from May 1 to Sept. 30, according to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. The ban applies to 54 Georgia counties, including Barrow and Gwinnett.

State forestry officials announced the ban would be extended for counties in northwest Georgia in early October.