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Burn ban begins this week
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Forsyth County News

For those who’ve been putting off yard work, there are just a few days left to burn leaves and yard debris.

Forsyth County’s burn ban begins Wednesday. The state-mandated ban applies to all outdoor burning, with the exceptions of recreation/cooking fires, campfires in approved areas and open flame equipment such as tar kettles. Those types of fires do not require notifying the Forsyth County Fire Department or the Georgia Forestry Commission.

Fire Division Chief Jason Shivers said the ban is intended “as an air quality tool to ensure positive air quality during the hot, humid days of summer.”

“But it also serves a function of fire safety during what is typically a very dry period every year,” he said.

The ban is imposed by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division in an effort to comply with federal clean air regulations. During the summer months, ozone in the air can reach unhealthy levels. Open burning has been identified as a significant contributor of the pollutants that form ozone.

Shivers said it’s the fire department’s responsibility to enforce the burn ban, “and we will be doing so beginning May 1.”

“People are very respectful, and usually when we have a case of someone burning outside, they just don’t realize that the ban is in effect,” he said.

“What we don’t want to do is discourage anyone from enjoying a family event with a campfire or roasting hot dogs.”

The ban will last through Sept. 30.

For more information, residents can contact the fire marshal’s office at (678) 455-8072.