State burn permits now required in Moore County

On October 2, local farmer Dave Clifton’s quick reaction saved what could have been a disastrous wildfire on a local hay field. It’s dry in Moore County and state burn permits are required through May 2024. (Photo Provided)

According to the rain gauge located at Tims Ford Dam, Moore County has received just .73 inches of rain so far in October. The last time we received any measurable precipitation was 1.37 inches back on September 9. In total, the official gauges measured just 2.02 total inches of rain in September.

It’s dry out there, so dry in fact that on October 2, local farmer Dave Clifton dodged a bullet while cutting hay on his farm. According to his social media post, his metal blade hit a rock – sparking a fire. Luckily, Clifton spotted it immediately and snuffed out the wildfire before it could get started.

Burn permits required through May 2024

Careless debris burning is a major cause of wildfires in the winter. Moore County fire officials remind locals to avoid burning in dry weather conditions and when it’s windy. You should always keep water nearby and stay with an outdoor fire until it’s completely out.

Through May 15, the Metro Volunteer Fire Department and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation would like to remind Moore County citizens that Debris Burn Permits will be required. During this time, anyone starting an open-air fire within 500 feet of a forest, grassland, or woodland must by law secure a burning permit from the Division of Forestry. To read their complete Open Burning Guidelines click here.

The permits are free and can be obtained online at the Debris Burn Permit Application site. They are applicable for single day, individual burn piles for both leaves and brush. Citizens can not burn tires or other rubber products, paints and chemicals, household trash, plastics, aerosol and food cans, electrical wiring, oils, asphalt shingles, paper products, buildings, clothing, or furniture.

Large scale burning for construction site prep, agricultural clearing, wildlife area prep will require a an approved request from a a Division of Forestry representative. Call the Moore County number at 877-350-BURN (2876).

Some types of debris – such as leaves, grass and stubble – may be of more value if they are not burned, according to the state website. Composting can yield valuable organic matter that can be used to enrich the soil while helping extend the useful life of landfills. In addition, tree branches, trunks, and brush can sometimes be chipped up and simply blown back into the woods or collected and hauled away. Other times, potential hazardous fuel near a structure can simply be drug back into the open woods where it poses no threat to structures. 

If you plan to burn, you should always notify both the local fire department and your neighbors and stay with the burn pile until it’s completely extinguished. Online permits will be available from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. For more information about Tennessee Wildfire Laws, click here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently-owned, community newspaper located in Lynchburg, Tennessee the home of The Jack Daniel Distillery. We focus on public service, non-partisan, rural journalism. We cover the Metro Moore County government, local tourism, Moore County schools, high school sports, Motlow State Community College, as well as whiskey industry news and regional and state stories that affect our readers.}