A debris burn permit is required for leaf and brush piles from Oct. 15 until May 15 each season, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division announced.
“Fire prevention is everyone’s responsibility,” State Forester David Arnold said. “Thanks to rainfall, our wildfire numbers are low so far this fall. However, it’s always necessary to practice safe debris burning and remember that state permits are required starting next week in areas where local governments do not have established outdoor burning ordinances.”
Debris burn permits for leaf and brush piles are available at no charge via the MyTN mobile app or online at www.BurnSafeTN.org.
Online permits can be obtained daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. for any size leaf and brush burn pile. Each pile should be completely out by the permit expiration.
For larger, broadcast burning, such as forestry, agricultural, and land clearing, call the Division of Forestry burn permit phone number at 877-350-BURN (2876) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. If you have limited access to internet, this number can also be used for a debris burn permit, but callers can expect lengthy wait times when call volume is high.
Permits are issued only when conditions are conducive to safe burning. If you live inside city limits, check with your municipality for additional restrictions before you burn. According to the Savannah Fire Department, burning of leaves and wood only in areas no larger than a 3 foot by 3 foot square is allowed without a permit. However, the department requests to be notified in advance. Larger burns require a city permit, which is available at the Savannah Fire Department office at City Hall.
A list of materials that are not allowed to be burned can be found from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation here.
According to the Forestry Division, burning without a permit is a class C misdemeanor and 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.
To report suspected arson, 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. Cash awards are offered for information leading to an arrest or conviction.
To report illegal burning, call 888-891-TDEC (8332).