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Burn ban in effect May 1


Staff reports

Pickens Fire Marshal Curtis Clark reminds Pickens County residents that the state-issued outdoor burning ban goes into effect on May 1 for this county.

Clark said it will fall on local fire departments and his office to enforce it. The ban will last through September 30. It Includes all outdoor burning except campfires.

According to the Ga. Forestry website, “Who is responsible for the burning ban?

The open burning ban is under the jurisdiction of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Environmental Protection Division (EPD), Air Protection Branch.

Why is the burning ban needed?

The Georgia EPD imposes a ban on outdoor burning to comply with Federal Clean Air Regulations.  During the summer months in Georgia, the ozone in the air we breathe can reach unhealthy levels.  The Georgia EPD has identified open burning as a significant contributor of the pollutants that form ozone.  Consequently, open burning in metro Atlanta and larger counties must be restricted during the summer months.”

Ironically, Clark said in Pickens County the number one source of complaints is burning household garbage which is illegal to burn at any time – no man-made items can be burned for disposal.

“A lot of people are uninformed,” he said. “ You are not supposed to burn any manmade objects and you can’t burn garbage in a burn barrel. You actually can’t burn household garbage any time, but during summer you are not supposed to burn anything.”

Clark said there are rarely problems with contractors or construction sites as they are usually aware of the rules and know that you can’t get permits during the summer.

Other information from the Ga. Forestry website included:

What counties are under the burning ban?

The following counties are under the burning ban: Banks, Barrow, Bartow, Bibb, Butts, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, Columbia, Coweta, Crawford, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Fulton, Gordon, Gwinnett, Hall, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, Lumpkin, Madison, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Paulding, Peach, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Putnam, Richmond, Rockdale, Spalding, Troup, Twiggs, Upson, Walker and Walton.    

How can the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) help me determine whether I can burn or not?

The Georgia Forestry Commission’s website (search Ga. Forestry) and 1-877-OK2-BURN phone system will inform by county whether or not you can.