Fire season for East Tennessee fast approaches, and with it persons doing outdoor burning need to be sure to obtain a burn permit from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Forestry Division before they burn, from October 15 thru May 15. A new option is available for persons to obtain a burn permit is the online permit system, which is accessible by going BurnsafeTN.org, and clicking on the BURNING PERMITS tab. Online permits will be available for all counties in Tennessee, with the exception of Knox , Davidson, Madison and Shelby counties. In Knox County burn permits are required year round by Knox County Air Pollution, the number is 865.215.5900.
The online system will allow persons to negate overcrowded phone lines, and gives another cost effective method for the Division of Forestry to issue permits. Restrictions for online permits are that online permits are only for debris piles 8ft x 8ft or smaller, and the permit is only for individual brush piles: persons seeking to burn large brush piles or multiple sets must call their local Forestry office for a permit. Individuals obtaining online permits will go through a series of sign off screens that they must read and click to acknowledge the fire laws and restrictions of the State of Tennessee, and persons who have an online permit are subject to the same laws and legal obligations that those who phone in are, ie they are liable for damages and suppression costs if their fire escapes, they may be cited and fined if they burn illegal materials, they could be cited for falsification of information, etc.