On Monday, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam issued a proclamation declaring a regional ban on burning in 51 counties in response to the ongoing drought and destructive wildfires throughout Middle and East Tennessee.
Effective immediately, residents in counties covered by the regional ban are not permitted to conduct any open-air burning. The ban includes campfires, and burning of brush, vegetation, household waste or construction debris. The ban will remain in effect until December 15. Grundy and Marion counties are included in the ban. .
Currently the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) Division of Forestry is fighting 67 wildfires across nearly 16,000 acres in the Cumberland and East Tennessee districts.
A violation of a burn ban is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor which carries a fine of $2,500 and/or up to 11 months, 29 days in jail.
Residents in counties not included under any of the current bans must obtain a safe debris burning permit to burn brush, vegetation, household waste or construction waste. The TDA Division of Forestry, however, does not expect to issue any permits until the state receives substantial precipitation. A violation of burning without a permit is punishable as a Class C misdemeanor which carries a fine of $50 and/or up to 30 days in jail.
Daily updates on the wildfire situation, active burn bans and tips to protect your home and property can be found at www.burnsafetn.org.