On Monday, November 14, 2016 Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam issued a proclamation declaring a regional ban on burning in 51 counties, including Macon County, in response to the ongoing drought and destructive wildfires throughout Middle and East Tennessee.
Effective immediately, residents in counties covered by the regional ban are not permitted to conduct any open-air burning. The ban includes campfires, and burning of brush, vegetation, household waste or construction debris. The ban will remain in effect until December 15. The counties under the ban are listed below.
A violation of a burn ban is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor which carries a fine of $2,500 and/or up to 11 months, 29 days in jail.
Robertson and Sumner Counties continue to be under a burn ban issued by TDA Commissioner Jai Templeton. A governor’s ban includes municipalities, whereas a commissioner’s ban is superseded by municipal ordinances.
Residents in counties not included under any of the current bans must obtain a safe debris burning permit to burn brush or vegetation. The TDA Division of Forestry, however, does not expect to issue any permits until the state receives substantial precipitation. A violation of burning without a permit is punishable as a Class C misdemeanor which carries a fine of $50 and/or up to 30 days in jail.
Counties under a regional burn ban: Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Cannon, Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Cumberland, Dekalb, Fentress, Franklin, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Loudon, Macon, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Smith, Sullivan, Trousdale, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, and White.
Red Boiling Springs Chief Randall Bray commented, “Please be mindful to distinguish cigarette correctly.”
Lafayette Fire Chief Keith Scruggs stated, “This ban includes open flames of any kind including cooking or roasting marsh mellows, no ceremonial burning or camp fires etc. This ban is due to the lack of rain, the vegetation is very dry and any fires will spread quickly. We ask that you help us by not starting any fires and reporting any fire you may see.”
For more information call the Lafayette Police Department at 615-666-2190 or the Red Boiling Springs Fire Department at 615-699-2011.