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.

Obtain a burn permit.

Use this form to request a burn permit, or contact GFC by phone at 1-877-OK2-BURN (652-2876). 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.

We can help you obtain the proper permit 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

The burning of machine piled natural vegetation and area burning require additional steps.

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. If you are planning such a burn, please contact your local county office of GFC.

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 ForecastDaily forecasts with NFDRS Ratings and State-wide Fire Danger RatingsExternal Website
Current Fire Danger RatingDaily updated information on current fire dangers across the stateExternal Website
Debris Burning Safe Practices – EnglishBest practices to prevent injury and damage when burningPDF
Debris Burning Safe Practices – EspañolMejores prácticas para evitar lesiones y daños al quemarPDF
EPA Office of Air and RadiationInformation for the Office of Air and Radiation (OAR), which oversees policies and protections for air quality and radiation exposureExternal Website
Federal Clean Air ActOverview of the Clean Air Act and corresponding protections and actions by the EPAExternal Website
Fire Danger RatingGraphic data from statewide fire danger weather stations External Website
Forecast Fire Danger GraphDaily updates for 24-hour fire danger forecastExternal Website
Georgia EPDContact information and resources for the state's Environmental Protection Division (EPD)External Website
Georgia EPD Open Burning RulesOverview of permissible and impermissible open burning practices External Website
Hidden Hazards of Backyard BurningImportant information about the illegal practice of burning household wastePDF
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.PDF
Safety First For Landowners Burning DebrisThis video provides helpful tips for safely burning debris.Video