* Georgia law no longer requires notification to the Georgia Forestry Commission by people planning to burn yard debris. Charges may apply if wildfire results from escaped burning and evidence show reasonable fire prevention precautions were not taken.

APRIL 28, 2021

On May 1, a ban on outdoor burning begins in 54 Georgia counties, primarily in the northern half of the state. Affected residents are asked to refrain from burning yard and land clearing debris during the hot summer months because smoke can negatively impact the state’s air quality by contributing to high ozone levels. These conditions have been linked to lung and heart disease in humans.

“The restrictions are required by the state Environmental Protection Division,” said Georgia Forestry Commission Protection Chief Frank Sorrells. “By limiting outdoor burning, fewer chemicals and particle pollutants are released into the air.” The burn ban is in effect until September 1 in the following counties: 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 campfires and barbecues are exempt the burn ban, the risk of wildfire in Georgia is always a concern. An increase in the number of wildfires has been recorded in March and April, with 860 wildfires burning almost 5,500 acres across the state. Escaped burning is the leading cause of wildfire in Georgia.

Residents in counties not included in the annual burn ban will continue to be required to secure a burn permit from the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) before conducting any outside burning. Permits can be requested online at GaTrees.org or by calling the local office of the GFC.

“Georgia’s 25 million acres of forestland serve a giant air purifier,” said Georgia Forestry Commission Director Tim Lowrimore. “We can help them do their work by recognizing the burn ban and enjoying the many benefits Georgia’s trees and other natural resources give us in summer and all year long.”

For more information about the burn ban, the many benefits of trees and services of the Georgia Forestry Commission, visit GaTrees.org.

2 thoughts on “North Georgia Burn Ban Helps Boost Air Quality

  1. I keep going around and around…and around again when trying to get a burn permit in Henry County, GA, Locust Grove. WHERE is the form to be filled out??? I called the number given 877-652-2876. I listened to the lady three times, I entered http://www.gatrees.org twice but I still do not see the form to be filled out. Is the permit now given by one-on-one phone conversation now? Last burn season, it was so easy, now what wasn’t broken has been worked on and now it’s really broken. I’ve read all of the information but there is no indication in any of the information as to where to go to now get a burn permit. HELP!!!

    1. As of July 1, 2021, changes went 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. Please go to https://gatrees.org/burn-permits-and-notifications and watch this video on precautions before burning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtMQdE5NyWI&t=2s

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