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State-mandated burn ban begins Friday
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Forsyth County News
The beginning of May signals the start of a burn ban that will last through September.

Starting Friday, all outdoor burning, including leaves, trash, yard debris and storm damage, is prohibited.

Forsyth County Fire Capt. Jason Shivers said the state-mandated ban is important in “two primary arenas.”

“Not only fire safety during the dry months of summer, but also for air quality,” he said. “Therein lies the primary focus of the state-required ban.”

According to a statement from the Forsyth County government, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division uses the ban in an effort to meet federal clean air regulations. In Georgia, the ozone in the air in the summer can reach unhealthy levels.

Shivers said most residents adhere to the law.

“There are always a few occurrences, but that’s to be expected,” he said. “Some people just don’t get the word.”

Shivers said the fire department’s reaction to burn ban violations is “simply one of compliance and education.”

“Our goal is to enforce state laws, ensure clean air quality and educate the public as to the rules that must be followed,” he said.

There are some exceptions to the ban. Recreation or cooking fires and campfires in approved areas are allowed.

Unless extended, Sept. 30 is the last day of the ban.