The ban, which went into effect May 1 for 54 counties across the state because of air quality issues, was lifted at midnight Wednesday night.
According to Mike Brunson, the District 1 chief ranger with the Georgia Forestry Commission, anyone wishing to do outdoor burning must first get permission from local authorities. For those in the city limits of Rome and Cave Spring, that means calling the Rome Fire Department, while those in Floyd County must go through the Georgia Forestry Commission.
“We issue permits to county residents, while the local fire department handles burn requests in the city limits,” he said. “Anyone wishing to burn needs to remember that it only includes yard debris materials, limited to things that grow or branches that fall off trees and things like that.
“You cannot burn anything that is processed or has chemicals in it like treated lumber, cardboard or household trash.”
Brunson said many of the burn permits are issued for agricultural burning, which includes fields or cropland or timber areas, to get them ready for future planting.
He added that if conditions become very dry again, with little to no regular precipitation or high winds, officials may again put the ban into place temporarily to prevent people from burning during dangerous conditions.
Johnie Evans, fire safety specialist with the Rome Fire Department, said city residents need to call the RFD’s fire prevention office.
“We don’t technically issue a permit, but people do need to call so we can get their name and address and information so we know when and where burning may be taking place,” Evans said. “And they also need to check in so we can tell them if there is any reason they cannot burn that day, such as red flag conditions.”
Evans said people need to strictly follow the state’s regulations on burning only organic material because of the carcinogens that burning items such as trash can put into the air.
City residents should call 706-236-4510 to reach the RFD’s fire prevention office to inquire about permission to burn. County residents should contact the forestry commission at 1-877-652-2876 to get a burning permit. County residents can also get a burn permit online at www.gatrees.org.