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Annual Georgia burn ban in effect May 1
Burn ban

Georgia's annual ban on outdoor burning begins May 1 and will last through September 30 in 54 counties in the state. 

 According to a release from the Georgia Forestry Commission, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division puts restrictions in place during the summer months, when increases in ground level ozone may create health risks.

 "From May 1 until September 30, open burning of yard and land-clearing debris is prohibited in some counties where particulate matter pollutants and chemicals from smoke are more likely to combine with emissions from vehicles and industrial activities," said Frank Sorrells, chief of protection for the Georgia Forestry Commission. "Our agencies closely monitor air quality, weather conditions and open burning for the safety of all Georgians." 

The 54 counties affected by the ban are: 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. 

May through September is the time of year when people are more likely to be outdoors, according to the release. Higher levels of ground-level ozone and particle pollution levels are recognized to contribute to human health concerns and issues.

Residents in Georgia counties not included in the annual burn ban will continue to be required to secure a burn permit from the Georgia Forestry Commission before burning outdoors.  

For more information about the summer burn ban and services of the Georgia Forestry Commission, visit GaTrees.org and https://epd.georgia.gov/air/summer-open-burning-ban.

Some exceptions:

  • *Agricultural burning exemption
  • **Forestry "prescribed burning" exemption
  • Campfires or barbeques
  • Fire-fighting training exemption, provided appropriate permit is issued
  • Operation of open flame equipment exemption
  • Explosive disposal in accordance with U.S. Department of Labor Safety Regulations

*Does not include land use changes

**Not exempted in the 19 county metro Atlanta non-attainment area: Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Spaulding, Rockdale and Walton.