Due to extremely high wildfire danger caused by the drought, record high temperatures and low humidity, state Forestry officials today announced the implementation of burning restrictions usually reserved for official wildfire season.
Effective immediately (Aug. 27), citizens are required to obtain a burning permit from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry before conducting any outdoor, open burning of debris within 500 feet of woodlands, grasslands or forestlands.
"Although our level of wildfire activity is moderate and manageable, we're concerned about the potential for high wildfire danger due to the extremely dry conditions and the effect it's having on forest fuels as we move into the fall," said State Forester Steve Scott. "We want to be proactive by helping citizens determine when and where it's safe to burn and when it's not.
"Considering the forecast for continued hot, dry conditions and little chance of rainfall, we will be issuing burning permits on a very limited basis, to be evaluated county by county and considering local conditions. We are taking these steps to help undercut the threat of wildfires caused by debris burning before they happen, and to protect lives and property."
Typically, burning permits are not required by the state Division of Forestry except during official fire season, which runs Oct. 15 through May 15 each year. However, under state law the State Forester can prescribe other periods of time for requiring burning permits as conditions warrant. The burning permit requirement is expected to remain in force through May 15, 2008, when official wildfire season ends.... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.