Burn ban has been lifted, but don't forget you need a permit to burn

October has arrived, and that means the May 1-Sept. 30 outdoor burning ban in Coweta County and other metro Atlanta area counties has been lifted. This is the first weekend for outdoor burning since the ban was lifted on Thursday. You can get outside this weekend and do yard work and possibly burn some of the debris you rake up. But remember, don't just light a fire and begin burning. You need a burn permit from the Georgia Forestry Commission. Here's how you can get a permit: -- Call 1-800-GA-TREES (1-800-428-7337) -- Call 1-877-OK-2-BURN (1-877-652-2876)
-- Visit the gatrees.org Web site -- If you want to do a large acreage burn, call the forestry office in Coweta at 770-254-7371. Permits will not be issued on overcast or rainy days. That's because the clouds insulate the smoke, keeping it close to the ground, causing problems for people with asthma or other breathing difficulties. High winds and low humidity are other reasons for not issuing permits. Plan your burning on clear, sunny days. When you get a permit and burn, use common sense to prevent your fire from spreading. Clear an area around where you plan to burn. Keep a rake and water hose nearby in case your fire begins to spread. It's important all precautions are taken. The forestry people say Georgia averages about 800 wildfires a year that burn about 40,000 acres. About 51 percent of these wildfires are caused by "limb-burners," people who start with a small fire but because of carelessness allow the fire to get out of control. So remember, if you plan outdoor burning, get a burn permit and burn with care.

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