NWS discourages outdoor burning

The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement for East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and extreme Southwest North Carolina because of an elevated fire danger Monday afternoon.

Southwesterly winds between 10 and 15 mph with higher gusts are expected to develop.

This will combine with a dry air mass to create temperatures in the mid- to upper 80s with relative humidity in the 20s.

This combination increases the fire danger, the NWS said.

Because of this increased potential for fire growth and spread, NWS is discouraged residents across the area from doing any outdoor burning.

From October 15 through May 15, anyone starting an open-air fire within 500-feet of a forest, grassland or woodland must by law secure a burning permit from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry.

Permits are not required for burning in containers such as a metal barrel with a half-inch mesh screen cover.

The permits can be obtained by calling your local Division of Forestry office between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday.

Permits are generally good for 24 hours and can be issued for weekend burning. Permits can also be obtained online for small-scale burning of leaf and brush piles measuring less than 8-feet by 8-feet in area.

These permits can be obtained on days and in counties where burn permits are allowed, by visiting http://BurnSafeTn.org.

The website is also a good source of information for safe debris burning practices and fire prevention tips, including how to protect your home in the event of a wildfire.

Anyone needing to burn within an incorporated city should contact city authorities about any local burning ordinances.

Many towns and cities have their own burning regulations that supersede the Division of Forestry’s burning permit program. For more information on burning regulations, including how to obtain a burn permit, visit the Division of Forestry at http://BurnSafeTn.org.

-From Staff Reports

Posted on Monday, May 5, 2014 at 11:43 am