Georgia Forestry Commission Update
Georgia’s annual summer ban on outdoor burning was lifted on October 1. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division mandates the fire restrictions from May through September in 54 counties, primarily in the northern half of the state, to protect air quality from emissions that may increase ground level ozone.
Of special note this year, in July, significant changes were made to the Georgia law requiring burners to notify the Georgia Forestry Commission of their intent to burn outdoor yard debris. Landowners planning to burn hand-piled vegetative matter no longer have to call the GFC or log into the GFC website to report their burns. Instead, burners must ensure safety measures are in place to reduce the chance of escaped fire, which is the leading cause of wildfire in our state. It is important to also note that local county or city ordinances supersede these changes.
The new law applies to every county in Georgia. The 54 counties whose burn bans will be lifted on October 1 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.
Complete details about the new law and tools to help citizens understand their burning responsibilities can be found here.