The City of Loganville announced that although the statewide ban on outdoor burning ends today, the City of Loganville will continue to impose a ban on outdoor burning until conditions improve.
“Much of our area is under a severe drought status which means Loganville is in a high fire danger area. Wildfire activity is already on the rise across Georgia. We will provide information on when the local burn ban is lifted,” the city wrote on its Facebook page Oct. 1.
The Outdoor burn ban in 54 of Georgia’s counties, including Gwinnett, Walton and surrounding couties, ends on Oct. 1. But due to the current drought conditions, the Georgia Forrestry Commission has issued a press release urging everyone to take these conditions into account. The City of Loganville Fire Department reminded its resident that before any outdoor burning they are required to call the department at 770-554-9693 or Georgia Forrestry at 1-877-OK2-BURN (652-2876) to get permission to burn.
In a press release, the Georgia Forestry Commission noted that although leaf burning and campfires are hallmarks of fall, it is urging everyone to follow established procedures and exercise extreme caution when undertaking any outdoor burning.
“There’s a five step fire danger system used nationally, and right now Georgia is in the four and five categories, indicating very high fire danger,” said Georgia Forestry Commission Chief of Protection Frank Sorrells. “The decision to burn must be made on specific weather criteria in each location, and because safety is always our top concern, burn permitting may be restricted based on the fire danger forecast.”
Although the summer restricttions are set to be lifted Tuesday, burn permits will be issued on a day to day basis depending on the conditions at the time.
“The GFC will resume issuing burn permits on a day to day basis, following our established fire danger and smoke management procedures, in those counties which have been under the EPD Burn Ban since May first,” Sorrells said. “We recognize the importance of and promote prescribed burning for the many wildfire prevention, forest management and agriculture benefits it provides. However, right now we’re asking everyone to be extremely vigilant when doing any open burning, including burning yard debris.”
Sorrels noted that wildfire activity is on the rise statewide and it has been evident in the local area as well. Several brush fires have kept local firefighters busy over the past month. Georgia Forestry Commission wildland firefighters report a 41 percent increase in fires over the last three months that the previous five-year average. Sorrells said escaped debris burns are the number one cause of wildfires so it may be necessary and wise to delay or postpone open burning based on unfavorable local conditions. The GFC recommends that those who burn should keep tools on hand such as water, a shovel and a cell phone.
“Never hesitate to call 911, and never leave your fire unattended” Sorrells said.
For specific information about conducting open burning, permitting requirements and current fire conditions in your area, contact your county’s GFC office or visit GaTrees.org.