As the state of Tennessee continues to experience dry conditions wildland fire officials with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture are asking citizens to use precaution when burning outdoors.

Burning permits are not usually required by the state Division of Forestry except during official fire season, which runs Oct. 15 through May 15 each year. However, citizens should check for local restrictions or burn ordinances before burning outdoors. 

Below are basic safety precautions to follow when burning outdoors, no matter what type of weather:

  • Select a proper location away from steep slopes, forested or dry, uncut grassy areas.
  • Establish a control line around your fire, down to bare dirt, before you burn.
  • Notify neighbors as a common courtesy.
  • Have tools on hand such as a leaf rake and garden hose to control your fire.
  • Watch for changing weather conditions as winds can blow your fire in the wrong direction.
  • Stay with your fire until it is completely out. It is illegal to leave an open fire unattended.

Officials also advise that any outdoor debris burning take place when the relative humidity is higher, typically greater than 40%, and when winds are less than 10 miles per hour.  You can find that information inside the WRCB weather app.

Additional tips on safe debris burning, as well as wildfire information, can be found on the Division of Forestry’s wildfire prevention website at www.BurnSafeTN.org.

Limiting open burning is also an important element to improving air quality, and there are items such as tires and rubber products, certain building materials and household trash that are illegal to burn at any time during the year. For more information on what may and may not be burned under Tennessee regulations, visit