One way to fight fires is through fire prevention. This is done through educational efforts such as the Smokey Bear program. From time to time, Smokey makes appearances to emphasize his message of fire safety in the forest. Contact your Forestry Division District Office to check on Smokey’s availability.
Another prevention method is to use caution when burning debris. In most counties in Tennessee, a burning permit is required from October 15 through May 15. Even in counties that do not require a permit, be sure to check your local ordinances.
TIPS FOR SAFE DEBRIS BURNING:
Careless debris burning is a major cause of wildland fires. Please exercise extreme caution with all potential sources of wildfire ignition and avoid senseless and potentially deadly wildfires.
Avoid burning on dry, windy days.
Burn late in the day after the wind has quieted and humidity begins to increase, usually after 5:00 p.m.
Check to see if weather changes are expected. Outdoor burning should be postponed if shifts in wind direction, higher winds or wind gusts are forecast.
Before doing any burning, establish wide control lines down to bare mineral soil at least five feet wide around any burn barrels and even wider around brush piles and other piled debris to be burned. The larger the debris pile, the wider the control line needed to ensure that burning materials won’t be blown or roll off the pile into vegetation outside the line.
Stay with all outdoor fires until they are completely out.
Keep water and hand tools ready in case your fire should attempt to spread.
If you burn in a burn barrel or other trash container, be sure it is equipped with a ½" mesh screen or metal grid to keep burning material contained.
Stay abreast of wildfire danger levels and heed warnings and bans on outdoor burning.
Be aware of where your smoke is going. Avoid burning when your smoke will be bothersome to neighbors or sensitive locations such as highways.