Burn permits required beginning Oct. 15

Posted By | October 12, 2009 12:00 am

Fire. Forestry department workers wait for their next instructions during a woodland fire in the White’s Cave area of the county, in March 2004. Using safety precautions can prevent fire such as these.

White Countians who are planning to do autumn clean-up that includes burning leaves or brush will be required to purchase a permit beginning Oct. 15.
Although White County, as well as most other sections of Tennessee, has experience a rainier-than-normal year, fire is still considered to be a threat in many parts of the state.
Burning permits are free of charge and may be obtained in advance for weekends and holidays. Permit holders should also check for other restrictions that might apply in their county. Call White County Division of Forestry office at 657-2410.
According to the state fire marshal’s office, 16 homes were lost in Tennessee and more than 500 threatened, in 2008, because of wildland fires. Individuals who live in forested areas should keep gutters and rooftops free of debris and clear away flammable brush at least 30 feet from the house.
Tennessee Department of Forestry statistics from 1960 through 2008 indicate 1987 as the year for the highest number acres – 112,459 – burned in wildfires in Tennessee. The lowest number was in 2003, with 7,110 acres burned.
Debris burns that get out of control are the leading cause of wildfires, according to the state fire marshal’s office. Burning without a permit is a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine not to exceed $560.
Wildfires caused by arson are a Class C felony, which is punishable by three to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Anyone with information about suspected arson call the state fire marshal’s arson hotline toll free at 1-800-762-3017.

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