NASHVILLE – Wildfire season in Tennessee began October 15.
Citizens who wish to conduct outdoor burning are required to obtain a burning permit until May 15, 2018.
“It’s important, and required by law from October 15, 2017 to May 15, 2018, that citizens call for a burning permit and follow outdoor burning safety recommendations,” State Forester Jere Jeter said. “Tennessee experienced a historic fall fire season last year due to exceptional drought conditions. Fortunately, that underlying condition does not exist this year, but we’re not going to let our guard down. The permit system helps us communicate to the public when and where it is safe to burn and focuses attention on safety. We need all Tennesseans to volunteer to prevent wildfire.”
The online burn permit system is free, fast and simple. Anyone burning a leaf or brush pile that is smaller than 8 feet by 8 feet in size, should log on to www.BurnSafeTN.org for approval. More than 300,000 permits are issued each year, and the online system provides a quick and efficient way to apply.
For a larger burn, citizens may apply for a free permit by calling their local Division of Forestry burn permit phone number Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. In Grainger County, call (865) 767-2161.
Burn permits are only issued when conditions are conducive to safe burning. Anyone who lives inside city limits, may have additional restrictions. Citizens should check with their municipality before they burn.
To learn what materials may not be burned, check the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Open Burning Guidelines.
Burning without a permit is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine. Wildfires caused by arson are a Class C felony punishable by three to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Anyone with information about suspected arson activity should call the state Fire Marshal’s Arson Hotline at (800) 762-3017. The hotline is answered 24 hours a day, and callers may remain anonymous when providing information. Cash awards are offered for information leading to an arrest or conviction.
To report illegal burning, call [Text Wrapping Break](888) 891-TDEC.