FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 27, 2022

The summer ban on outdoor burning in 54 northern Georgia counties will be lifted on  October 1, 2022. The annual restrictions are imposed by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division from May 1 through the end of September to protect air quality from emissions that may increase ground level ozone during the hot summer months.

The 54 counties whose burn bans will be lifted on October 1 are: Banks, Barrow, Bartow, Bibb, Butts, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, Columbia, Coweta, Crawford, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Fulton, Gordon, Gwinnett, Hall, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, Lumpkin, Madison, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Paulding, Peach, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Putnam, Richmond, Rockdale, Spalding, Troup, Twiggs, Upson, Walker and Walton.

While the fall months offer weather that is ideal for debris burning and prescribed fire, Georgia Forestry Commission Protection Chief Frank Sorrells said safety must always be the first priority of anyone wishing to use fire outside.

“The leading cause of wildfire in Georgia is debris burning that gets out of control,” Sorrells said. “Remember that burners are responsible for their own fires, and while a permit is no longer required for hand-piled natural debris burns, there must be proof that safety precautions were taken in advance, if a wildfire does result.”

The five safety precautions mandated by law are: set spacing distances between fires and woodlands and structures, burn times from sunrise to sunset, burner attendance at the fire, and reasonable precautions such as weather awareness and suppression tools. Full details including video tutorials in English and Spanish can be found at GaTrees.org/burn-permits-and-notifications/. Separate notification procedures are required of practitioners conducting prescribed burns.

For more information about safe burning and services of the Georgia Forestry Commission, visit GaTrees.org.

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