UPDATE: Bledsoe, Bradley, McMinn, Polk and Sequatchie counties were added to the list of counties under a Commissioner of Agriculture burn ban. This brings the total to 14 Tennessee counties: Bledsoe, Bradley,Claiborne, Cumberland, Hamilton, Jefferson, Loudon, Marion, McMinn, Monroe, Polk, Robertson, Sequatchie and Sevier.
Georgia has added two counties (Murray and Walker) to their burn ban list. Officials say trash, campfires, bonfires, burn barrels etc. are prohibited until further notice.
A violation of a burn ban is considered reckless burning and is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor which carries a fine of $2,500 and/or up to 11 months 29 days in jail.
Counties not listed under the ban require a safe debris burning permit. For now, those permits are not expected to be issued until substantial precipitation is received. A violation of burning without a permit is punishable as a Class C misdemeanor which carries a fine of $50 and/or up to 30 days in jail.
Tennessee State Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton has issued a burn ban for Clairborne, Cumberland, Hamilton, Jefferson, Loudon, Marion, Monroe, Robertson and Sevier counties. This burn ban will remain in place until further notice.
The ban applies to all open-air burning including leaf and woody debris and construction burning, campfires and other fire activity outside of municipalities where local ordinances apply.
Under state law, the commissioner of agriculture, in consultation with the state forester, has the authority to issue burn bans at the request of county mayors under certain weather conditions. Requests from county mayors for a burn ban are considered in consultation with the State Forester based on a number of factors including weather, climate, fire danger and occurrence and resource availability.
A violation of a Commissioner of Agriculture imposed burn ban is considered reckless burning and is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor which carries a fine of $2,500 and/or up to 11 months 29 days in jail.