Forest fire season starts on Thursday

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

While Marshall County may have had 16 inches of rain in the most recent six weeks, Thursday is officially the beginning of forest fire season in Tennessee.

As a result, burn permits are required for unconfined, outdoor burning of brush, leaves, untreated wood waste and burning to clear land. Permits are free and more information about them is available by calling 270-2244.

Permits can be obtained from the local Division of Forestry office between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Burning without a permit is a crime punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine up to $50.

Last year, 16 Tennessee homes were lost due to wildfires. More than 500 were threatened. Escaped debris burns are the leading cause of wildfires.

Wildfires caused by arson are a felony. The fire marshal's arson hotline number is 1-800-762-3017.

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