The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry and the Department of Commerce and Insurance’s Division of Fire Prevention are observing National Fire Prevention Week, by reminding homeowners to follow simple safety practices to prevent wildfires. The official start of wildfire season in Tennessee is Oct. 15. State Forester Jere Jeter says burning vegetative material that has accumulated around the yard or using fire to clear an old field can be an efficient way to get rid of debris. But, he says, this activity needs to be done safely. The division’s burn permit system focuses attention on the safe use of fire for debris burning.
Activities requiring a burn permit include unconfined outdoor burning of brush, leaves, and untreated wood waste and burning to clear land. Burn permits are free of charge. Citizens can apply for burning permits online or by calling their local Division of Forestry office between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Forestry offices can be found by visiting www.burnsafetn.org. The website also includes
tips for safe debris burning and provides access to the online permitting system. Permit holders should also check for other restrictions in their locale as some counties and municipalities have their own regulations.