The Gist: A summer open burning ban begins May 1 in 54 Georgia counties, lasting until September 30 to reduce air pollution.
About The Burn Ban: The Georgia Environmental Protection Division is enforcing its annual open burning ban, affecting 54 counties across the state. Initiated in 2005, the ban aims to minimize air pollution and safeguard public health during the summer ozone season.
By The Numbers:
- The ban targets burning yard and land-clearing debris
- Burning household garbage is always prohibited statewide
- Recreational activities such as campfires and grilling are exempt
Why It Matters: Open burning emits small particles and air pollutants, which can form ground-level ozone. Particulate pollution contributes to chronic heart diseases, while ground-level ozone can cause lung inflammation, particularly impacting children and individuals with asthma.
Want More Info?: To learn more about the open burning ban, visit the EPD’s website or contact the District Office serving your area. For information on alternatives to burning, such as composting and chipping, visit the EPD’s Alternatives to Burning page. Debris can also be taken to commercial processing or landfill sites, with a list of locations available on the Land Protection Branch website. Citizens should check with their local Fire Marshall before conducting any burning, as some areas have stricter burning restrictions.
After the ban concludes, the Georgia Forestry Commission no longer requires permits for burning hand-piled, natural vegetation collected onsite. However, five safety precautions must be followed. For other types of burning, permits should be obtained by contacting your county GFC office.