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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Tennessee burn permits required through May 15 for debris cleanup

As warmer weather moves into Tennessee, the Department of Agriculture is reminding people that a burn permit is required to cleanup debris on yards.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Warmer weather is moving into Tennessee! As yards thaw across the state many homeowners may start burning debris to clean up their land.

Before they can ignite a fire, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture is reminding people that they need a burn permit if they plan to burn debris outdoors. It is required through May 15 in most counties.

Most leaves, branches, tree limbs, twigs, woody vegetations and yard trimmings gathered on people's lawns can be burned, officials said. Officials said that it can be a good tool for residents to clean up their rural land.

"We encourage all residents to use caution while conducting a burn," said David Arnold, a state forester. "Free burn permits can quickly be obtained online any day, and are our way of communicating with landowners when, where, and how to burn safely.”

Officials also recommended people notify their local fire department and neighbors before they burn debris, and avoid outdoor burning on windy days. They should also dig control lines in the soil at least five feet wide around burn piles, to ensure the flames do not accidentally spread.

People can apply for burn permits online for free. A list of phone numbers to call for each county is also available online.

Anyone who wants to perform broadcast burning for forestry, agricultural and land clearing purposes should call their local Division of Forestry burn permit phone number between 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Additional burning restrictions may apply for people living within city limits.