Local Area At Risk for Fire Due to Dry Conditions

It has been eight weeks since Jefferson County has seen a measurable rainfall, and it’s beginning to show. The grass is becoming crunchy, trees are already starting to loose their leaves and the air has been unseasonably hot and dry. Though the temperatures are on a slight downturn, there is no significant rainfall in the foreseeable forecast.

With the lack of rain comes another risk, fire, and in light of two recent local brush fires, Jefferson County and its municipalities are on alert.

The Tennessee Division of forestry usually doesn’t require burning permits until October, but with the dry conditions the region has been experiencing, burning permits are going to be required starting September 23. Some cities are issuing burn bans, to reduce the risk of wildfire in the area.

Burning permits focus attention on the safe use of fire. From September 23 through May 15, anyone starting an open-air fire within 500 feet of a forest, grassland, or woodland must by law secure a burning permit from the Division of Forestry. Permits are not required for burning in containers such as a metal barrel with a ½” mesh screen cover. Anyone needing to burn within an incorporated city should contact city authorities about any local burning ordinances. Many towns and cities have their own burning regulations that supersede the Division of Forestry’s burning permit program.

The City of New Market Mayor Beau Tucker and Fire Chief Frank Solomon have issued a burn ban until further notice.

Jefferson City is on a day by day basis, to be determined by the Lieutenant on duty each day. Call the Fire Department for information.

Jefferson County, City of Dandridge, and White Pine are currently adhering to the policy issued by the Division of Forestry.

To obtain a permit from the Division of Forestry, go to burnsafetn.org or call  (865) 475-3467

Source: Angie Stanley, Jefferson County Post Staff