Safety First For Landowners Burning Debris

The Georgia Rules for Air Quality define open burning as any outdoor fire from which the products of combustion are emitted directly into the open air without passing through a stack, chimney, or duct. All outdoor burning of natural vegetative materials is considered open burning and requires a burn permit.

How to obtain a burn permit

For hand piled natural vegetation use the form below or contact GFC by phone at 1-877-OK2-BURN (652-2876) to request a burn permit. 

To obtain a permit for the use of an Air Curtain Destructor (ACD) use the form below. For all other forms of burning please contact your local GFC office to obtain a permit, please click here to contact your local GFC county office.

NOTE: Permits are good only for the day they are issued. If you obtain your permit after dark, your permit will be good for the following day.  

Proper permit requirements for your outdoor burn

A permit is required for burning all-natural vegetation that is hand piled, including:

  • leaf piles on the premises that they fall
  • existing small clearings to plant vegetable and flower gardens
  • vegetative debris disposal from storm damage, weed abatement, disease and/or pest prevention

Additional steps for burning of machine piled natural vegetation and area burning

A hand piled permit does not include the burning of debris generated by machine clearing of an area for the purpose of establishing a garden spot or land clearing. This type of activity is considered a land type change and is subject to the EPD land clearing burning rules and may require the use of an Air Curtain Destructor depending on the county in which you live.

Click here for EPD open burning rules

If you are planning on land clearing without an ACD, burning off Acreage, or understory, please click here to contact your local GFC county office.

Helpful Resources

Please refer to the documents and websites in the following table for daily fire weather information, as well as laws and important tips for proper outdoor burning.

TitleDescriptionDocument Type
Area Fire Weather Forecast

Daily forecasts with NFDRS Ratings and State-wide Fire Danger Ratings

Page on GFC Website
Current Fire Danger Rating

Daily updated information on current fire dangers across the state

Page on GFC Website
Debris Burning Safe Practices – English

Best practices to prevent injury and damage when burning

Debris Burning Safe Practices – Español

Mejores prácticas para evitar lesiones y daños al quemar

EPA Office of Air and Radiation

Information for the Office of Air and Radiation (OAR), which oversees policies and protections for air quality and radiation exposure

External Website
Federal Clean Air Act

Overview of the Clean Air Act and corresponding protections and actions by the EPA

External Website
Fire Danger Rating

Graphic data from statewide fire danger weather stations

Page on GFC Website
Forecast Fire Danger Rating

Daily updates for 24-hour fire danger forecast

Page on GFC Website
Georgia EPD

Contact information and resources for the state’s Environmental Protection Division (EPD)

External Website
Georgia EPD Open Burning Rules

Overview of permissible and impermissible open burning practices

External Website
Hidden Hazards of Backyard Burning

Important information about the illegal practice of burning household waste

Hidden Hazards of Backyard Burning (Español)

Peligros ocultos de la quema del patio trasero. En Georgia, es ilegal quemar la basura que generamos en nuestros hogares.

Safety First For Landowners Burning Debris

This video provides helpful tips for safely burning debris.

V Smoke

VSmoke-Web is a web-based implementation of VSmoke (Lavdas, 1996) and is designed to assist with planning prescribed burns in the Southern United States.

External Website