State burn permits required beginning on Saturday

It’s dry in Moore County and across the state of Tennessee. In fact, Moore County hasn’t received rain in over 30 days. Local officials warn Moore County residents to use caution until the state begins requiring burn permits on Saturday, October 15. (FILE PHOTO)

According to the rain gauge located at Tims Ford Dam, Moore County has not received rain in 30 days. The last time we received any measurable precipitation was .16 of an inch back on September 10. In total, the official gauges measured just 4.65 total inches of rain in September and just 2.93 inches in August. It’s dry out there and though no state, regional, or local authority has issued an official burn ban for Moore County, fire officials encourage locals to proceed with caution.

Careless debris burning is a major cause of wildfires. 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.

Beginning October 15, the Metro Volunteer Fire Department and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation would also like to remind Moore County citizens that Debris Burn Permits will be required through May 15, 2023. 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.}