There are currently 47 counties under the Governor’s Burn Ban. Seventeen of those counties continue to be under a TN Department of Agriculture Commissioner’s Burn Ban and are superceded by the Governor’s ban. Both burn bans apply to open-air burning and includes a prohibition of campfires, and burning of brush, vegetation, and construction debris. Generally, the burn ban does NOT apply to cooking grills and other similar lighted devices that are well established in a confined, protected area away from woodlands. However the disposal of hot grill ashes or coals can be a fire hazard. Grill ashes should be completely cool or better yet, wet, before disposal in all cases. A violation of a burn ban is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor which carries a fine of $2,500 and/or up to 11 months, 29 days in jail.
Residents in counties not included under any of the current bans must obtain a safe debris burning permit to burn brush or vegetation. The TDA Division of Forestry, however, does not expect to issue any permits until the state receives substantial precipitation. 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.