Wildfire season begins Oct. 15


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry is reminding citizens to follow simple safety practices to prevent wildfires and obtain a debris burn permit for leaf and brush piles ahead of wildfire season.

National Fire Prevention Week was Oct. 4-10, and the official start of wildfire season is Oct. 15.

“With the recent and forecasted rain, we expect favorable conditions for safe debris burning in the short term,” state forester David Arnold said. “However, we shouldn’t let our guard down. We encourage Tennesseans to remain vigilant, practice safe debris burning, and get a permit to prevent wildfires.”

Debris burn permits are available online at no charge. For larger, broadcast burning, such as forestry, agricultural, and land clearing, call your local Division of Forestry burn permit phone number 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The online system for permits and phone numbers, as well as safe burning tips, can be found at www.BurnSafeTN.org.

Permits are issued only when conditions are conducive to safe burning. If you live inside city limits, there may be additional restrictions. Check with your municipality before you burn.

A list of materials that may not be burned can be found in the open burning guidelines from the state Department of Environment and Conservation at www.tn.gov/environment/program-areas/apc-air-pollution-control-home/apc/open-burning.html.

Burning without a permit is a Class C misdemeanor and punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine. 

Wildfires caused by arson are a class C felony punishable by three to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.


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