Burn Permits Required Through May 15

Monday, March 25, 2024 | 02:50pm
Burn Permits Required from October 15 to May 15

NASHVILLE – To reduce wildland fire risk, Tennesseans are reminded that a burn permit from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Forestry Division is required through May 15 for all open burning where local restrictions do not apply.

“Fire prevention starts with each of us practicing safe burning and only burning when it's safe. The burn permit process communicates to residents the safe locations and times for open burning," State Forester Heather Slayton said. "During hazardous fire conditions like high winds or extreme drought, permit issuance pauses temporarily until safe conditions return. Our aim is to safeguard Tennessee's people, communities, and natural resources. Together, we can conserve our state's beauty and prevent wildland fires."

Burn permits are free and can be obtained quickly and easily at www.BurnSafeTN.org or by using the MyTN mobile app. Online permits are issued 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. in Eastern and Central time zones, depending on your location. Permits are available for burning leaf and/or brush piles and for prescribed fires, including broadcast burning for various purposes such as land clearing, forestry, and agricultural applications.

Individuals with limited internet access may obtain a permit by calling 877-350-BURN (2876). Foresters are available to assist callers Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central, except for holidays.

Permits expire at midnight on the day on which they are obtained, so apply on the day you plan to burn. Fires should be fully extinguished by permit expiration.

The Forestry Division’s burn permits are for burning woody debris that exist naturally on the property where it’s burned. For information on proper disposal of other materials, including trash, rubber, metal, plastics, furniture, and building materials, please visit www.tn.gov/environment/air/open-burning.html.

Burning without a permit is a crime that carries penalties of up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine.

Always follow safety guidelines when conducting a burn:

• Only burn when conditions are safe – avoid burning when it’s windy and humidity is low.
• Check with local authorities to be sure there are no local restrictions in place, especially in cities and towns that have their own outdoor burning ordinances.
• Obtain a permit from the Forestry Division at www.BurnSafeTN.org. Permits are required from October 15 to May 15 where local restrictions do not supersede.
• Notify your neighbors and local fire department in advance.
• Choose a location away from trees and utility lines.
• Keep tools to control your fire on hand, including a water supply and hand tools (rakes, shovels, etc.).
• Establish firebreaks by clearing a three- to five-foot perimeter down to the dirt, free of all flammable materials, around burn piles.
• Be alert to changing weather conditions and be prepared to extinguish your fire if the situation becomes unsafe.
• Your fire is your responsibility. Stay with your fire until it is completely out.

Please visit www.BurnSafeTN.org for additional tips to burn safely and protect your community from wildland fires.

Follow @TNWildlandFire on Facebook, Instagram, and X for updates on wildland fires and fire risk in Tennessee.

The Forestry Division protects and promotes the responsible use of forest resources in Tennessee. Focus areas include assisting landowners with a variety of services, providing quality tree seedlings, supporting forest health programs, collecting forest inventory data, assisting forest industries, and fighting wildland fires. Visit www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests for more information.