As of July 1, 2021, changes go into effect regarding the legal responsibilities of Georgia landowners burning outdoor yard debris. Under Senate Bill 119, GA code section 12-6-90 was changed to eliminate the need to notify the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) by the person, firm, corporation, or association who intends to burn hand-piled natural vegetation/yard debris.
Any local burning ordinances are applicable and may be more restrictive than state law. In addition, restrictions on burning in 54 northern Georgia counties under the Environmental Protection Division summer burn ban from May 1-September 30 continue to be in effect.
Changes to 12-6-90 include specific requirements of those intending to burn outdoors. A Georgia Forestry Commission communication campaign is informing landowners of these requirements in various media and is built on an acronym that emphasizes legal burning responsibilities.
It advises burners to carefully plan their burn by remembering to “Take Five,” and follow an easy to remember “S-S-T-A-R” formula:
S – Space – 25+ feet between fire and woodlands
S – Space – 50+ feet between fire and structures
T – Time – sunrise to sunset
A – Attendance – Person responsible on-site until the fire is extinguished
R – Reasonable precautions – Tools/measures in place to prevent escaped fire.
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