Forestry commission announces annual burn ban
Published 8:11 pm Tuesday, April 24, 2018
The Georgia Forestry Commission is reminding Troup County residents that the annual Georgia burn ban begins May 1. The ban lasts through Sept. 30 and prohibits citizens and businesses from burning yard and land-clearing debris, according to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
“The burn ban is instituted from May to October because that’s pretty much when the winds stop blowing, and it’s an air quality issue,” said Ray Brundage, a ranger three wildland firefighter with the Georgia Forestry Commission.
“If you start burning all of your leaves and stuff, the smoke gets in the atmosphere, and it doesn’t really move around. It gets in your neighbor’s yard, or it just doesn’t move around or dissipate.”
According to the Georgia EDP, the ozone can reach unhealthy levels in Atlanta, so the ban extends to 54 counties outside of the city.
Brundage said the ban is also for safety since the humidity in the summer. Smoke will go into roads and can cause car accidents.
Some exceptions to the open burn ban include the agricultural burning exemption, forestry prescribed burning exemption, campfires or barbecues, firefighting training provided the appropriate permit is issued, operation of open flame equipment exemption and explosive disposal in accordance with U.S. Department of Labor Safety Regulations, according the Georgia EDP.
Disregarding the ban may result in fines and the year round ban on burning household garbage still applies, according to the Georgia EDP.
“[The GFC is a] state agency that take care of the health of the trees in the state, makes sure you don’t do any illegal burns, and of course, we work with Smokey the Bear,” Brundage said. “And we put out wild fires.”
For more information on the ban, visit epd.georgia.gov/air/summer-open-burning-ban.
Brundage said anyone who needs a burn permit and is living in the City of LaGrange can contact the local fire department.
Anyone in the unincorporated part of Troup County can contact the commission at 1-(877) 652-2876. The ban still applies to all of the city.