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Fall Burn Permits Required Starting October 15th

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry reminds citizens that our state is heading into fall fire season.

Dry conditions and trees that shed their leaves heighten fire danger and debris burn permits are required for leaf and brush piles beginning on October 15th.  

Burn permits are free of charge. If you live in the city of Cleveland, residents must contact the Cleveland Fire Department to get an approval to Burn. For county residents, call the Tennessee Division of Forestry, use the MyTN mobile app,  or apply online at BurnSafeTN.org. You can apply the same day you plan to burn. Online permits can be obtained daily from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm for any size leaf and brush burn pile. Each pile should be completely extinguished by the permit expiration.

For larger burning, such as forestry, agricultural, and land clearing, you must call the Division of Forestry. 

Permits are issued only when conditions are conducive to safe burning. 

Remember, burning without a permit is a class C misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine. 

The following tips should be followed when it is safe to conduct a debris burn:

  • Check with local authorities to make sure there are no local restrictions on burning currently in place, especially in cities and towns that have their own burning permit system.
  • GET A PERMIT. A permit is required from the Tennessee Division of Forestry between October 15 to May 15 where local restrictions do not supercede.
  • Notify your local fire department and neighbors to let them know your plans to burn
  • Do not burn on windy days
  • Stay abreast of changing weather conditions
  • Establish wide control lines down to bare mineral soil at least five feet wide around burn piles
  • Keep fire containment equipment on hand during the fire (e.g. rake, shovel, water)
  • Stay with the fire until it is completely out.