Outdoor burn ban to be lifted

Now that the leaves are falling, the annual burn ban will be lifted on Tuesday.

“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.”

Gwinnett County residents only need to obtain a permit to burn outside for agricultural purposes or to conduct a community burn pit.

The ban is lifted from 54 counties across Georgia, including Gwinnett. Those who would like to obtain a permit to burn outdoors must visit GaTrees.org or call 1-877-OK-2-BURN.

Although the ban has been lifted, Sorrells is asking residents to be careful when lighting a fire outside.

“As always, we’re asking anyone who gets a permit to be extremely careful about burning debris,” he said. “Even though we’ve had a lot of rain in past months, escaped burning remains Georgia’s No. 1 cause of wildfire. One spark that flies onto fallen leaves and branches is enough to ignite a dangerous fire.”

It is encouraged to have safety gear ready in case of an emergency during debris burning. Items include a shovel, hose, and a cell phone to call 911.

Only natural, hand-piled vegetation may be burned, such as leaves and bush trimmings. It is illegal to burn tires, shingles and plastics. Residents seeking permission to burn larger areas or agricultural burns need to contact their local Georgia Forestry Commission office.

For more information, visit GaTrees.org.