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Authorities: Check before outdoor burning
Fire WEB 1
Firefighter Donny Wilbanks puts out a recent brush fire near the Cumming water towers on East Maple Street. Authorities urge residents to check for temporary bans when planning outdoor burns. - photo by Jim Dean


Those planning to burn leaves and debris this fall may want to check before lighting the fire.

Though the state-mandated ban on outdoor burning lifted Oct. 1, temporary bans can be issued daily based on weather conditions.

Forsyth County Fire Capt. Jason Shivers said residents should check the county’s Web site before burning anything outside to make sure a restriction hasn’t been issued for that day.

“In addition to that, when citizens call the Georgia Forestry Commission for a burn permit, they will let them know if it’s not allowed that day in Forsyth County,” he said. “But they should check the county Web site if at all possible and look for a scrolling red banner to indicate that it’s banned that day.”

Shivers asked that residents follow various safety tips for outside burning, including:

• Authorized burning must occur between 10 a.m. and one hour before sunset.

• Burning of household garbage, trash and construction debris is not allowed, nor is the burning off of lawns.

• All burns must be conducted by someone 16 or older who has the ability to put out a fire.

• A permit from the Georgia Forestry Commission is required to burn leaf piles and other yard debris on residential property. To obtain a permit, call (877) 652-2876.

• No burns will be allowed when the humidity is less than 25 percent or winds are stronger than 10 mph.

• Notify the fire department at (678) 455-8072 before conducting: agricultural burns necessary for production or harvesting crops; prescribed burning; burning to control disease or pests; and emergency burning of storm debris.

• Burns that require the use of an air curtain destructor must be approved by the fire department.
Shivers added the state burn ban will go back into effect in May.

For more information, call (678) 455-8072 or go online at