A debris burn permit is required through May 15 for outdoor burning from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry where local restrictions do not apply.
“Fire prevention begins with you,” State Forester David Arnold said. “Burning piles of leaves and brush can be an efficient way of cleaning up your yard, but don’t let that debris burn turn into a wildfire. Practice safe debris burning by creating a wide vegetation-free zone around your pile, have a rake, shovel, or even a bucket of water on hand to control embers, keep an eye on changing weather conditions, and always stay with your fire until it is completely out.”
Materials that can be burned include leaves, branches, tree limbs, twigs, and other woody vegetation and yard trimmings gathered on site. Permits are issued only when conditions are conducive to safe burning. If you live inside city limits, check with your municipality for additional restrictions before you burn.
Obtaining a burn permit at BurnSafeTN.org or the MyTN mobile app is free, fast, and simple. Online permits are issued seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. central time on the day of the burn for any size leaf and brush burn pile. Each pile should be completely out by the permit expiration. Residents with limited internet access may call 877-350-BURN (2876) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time, except on holidays.
For broadcast burning applications such as forestry (understory, site prep), agricultural (crop stubble, field clearing), wildlife (habitat, warm season grasses), land clearing (dozer piles, windrows) or other burning, call 877-350-BURN (2876) to request a permit.
A list of materials that may not be burned can be found in the open burning guidelines from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation at www.tn.gov/environment/program-areas/apc-air-pollution-control-home/apc/open-burning.html.
Burning without a permit is a serious offense that can result in a fine and/or up to 30 days in jail. To report air quality concerns or the burning of prohibited items, call 888-891-TDEC (8332).
If you have information about an intentionally-set fire, call the 24-hour Tennessee Arson Hotline at 800-762-3017. You may remain anonymous and could earn a cash reward from the Tennessee Advisory Committee on Arson and the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Visit www.BurnSafeTN.org for additional tips to burn safely and to protect your community.
The Division of Forestry protects Tennessee’s forests by fighting wildfires, coordinating hazard emergency response, providing prescribed fire guidance and contract services, as well as wildland fire training. Additionally, the Division promotes the responsible use of forest resources by assisting landowners, providing quality seedlings, monitoring insects and diseases, improving urban forests, managing state forests, protecting water quality, and collecting forest inventory data. The Division also works to promote primary and secondary forest industries to stimulate the state’s economy. Visit www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests for more information.