Recent tornadoes and severe storms have resulted in large amounts of woody debris impacting home, farm, and woodland owners across Tennessee. Burning that debris can be an efficient way to speed the recovery process. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry is reminding all citizens that if they plan to burn outdoors, a burn permit is required through May 15.
Materials that can be burned include leaves, branches, tree limbs, twigs, and other woody vegetation and yard trimmings gathered on site.
“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. Burn permits are our way of communicating with landowners when, where, and how to burn safely.”
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, the online application system is fast and efficient way to apply. For a larger burn, call your local Division of Forestry burn permit phone number Mon. through Fri., 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 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.
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, you could earn a cash reward from the Tennessee Advisory Committee on Arson and the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office. 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.
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 all hazard emergency response, providing prescribed fire guidance and contract services, as well as wildland fire training, in addition to promoting the wise 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 http://www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests for more information.