You might need a burn permit

JoeT

Member
Dec 17, 2023
9
5
I got upset at my neighbor, who was burning his leaves yesterday. We are under a burn ban in my area of Tennessee right now. Anyone who wants to start a fire outside between mid-October through mid-May must apply for and receive a permit to do so. It is a big deal around here because fall is our dry season. It wasn't long ago that several acres of forest burned to the ground in the Gatlinburg area after a careless fire was started.

So, think twice before starting a fire and apply for the appropriate permits beforehand. If you take the proper steps, your local fire department will likely be notified of your intention, and will be ready to act quickly should your fire get out if control.
 
Location
Tennessee, United States
@JoeT, I remember seeing that tragedy on the news. There was so much senseless destruction. Thanks for the prudent reminder that permitting rules are usually in place for a darn good reason, rather than just to make our lives more difficult. I tend to forget that sometimes.
 
I agree 100%. When there is a no burn order in place, even if you have a permit, it's suggested you don't burn until that notice is lifted. I know people who have decided to go against it, and resulted in their home catching fire or their yard being badly damaged because it ended up getting out of hand.

Get your permits, because you never know what could happen.
 
They don't play around when it comes to this. If there is a burn ban in your area, it's best to wait it out until you can. Even if you can apply for a permit to burn during this time, I would still wait until the burn ban is lifted before having fires.

Fires can happen like that, just needs the conditions for it. Fires can take out forests in no time. Plus considering your home and property, do you want to risk a fire. I wouldn't.
 
There are a lot of ways to manage leaves in your garden but burning them is one of the worst ways. I think people should use leaves to make compost for their garden, or even use them as mulch. Burning causes a nuisance in the neighborhood as well as pollutes the air.
 
I got upset at my neighbor, who was burning his leaves yesterday. We are under a burn ban in my area of Tennessee right now. Anyone who wants to start a fire outside between mid-October through mid-May must apply for and receive a permit to do so. It is a big deal around here because fall is our dry season. It wasn't long ago that several acres of forest burned to the ground in the Gatlinburg area after a careless fire was started.

So, think twice before starting a fire and apply for the appropriate permits beforehand. If you take the proper steps, your local fire department will likely be notified of your intention, and will be ready to act quickly should your fire get out if control.

I imagine your neighbor doesn't feel like there's much risk involved or may have a strong property rights mentality ("it's my land, I can do what I want"). I can understand you'd probably have felt uncomfortable calling him out and maybe causing strife with a neighbor (or maybe you did, lol?), but at least you were present and monitoring the situation. If his actions ever start getting truly reckless (e.g., size of burn, proximity to your property, etc.), then you definitely shouldn't hesitate to report him to the authorities. In Tennessee, I understand burning is generally regulated by the state Division of Forestry unless you're in an incorporated city, in which case you're probably subject to a local ordinance. Whatever the authority, you should be able to file the report anonymously, which can help in these kinds of situations where you want to bring your neighbor into compliance but don't want things to get too personal.
 
Having a burn permit will allow you to burn when there is a burn ban in the area, but I think it is best to wait until the burn ban is lifted as it will be safer and cause less trouble.

There are many different ways to dispose of leaves in the garden other than burning them.
 
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