NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Several Middle Tennessee counties have active burn bans issued by the state Department of Agriculture.
Under state law, the commissioner of agriculture, in consultation with the state forester, has the authority to issue burn bans at the request of county mayors under certain weather conditions. The request by county mayors is completed following mutual agreement with the Tennessee Division of Forestry’s District Forester whose district includes that county.
So far, at least four Middle Tennessee county governors have coordinated with the state for county-wide burn bans.
According to the state, Franklin, Grundy, Rutherford and Williamson counties all have county-wide burn bans in place due to unfavorable weather conditions. A combination of little rain and low humidity have contributed to prime wildfire conditions in the mid-state.
Additionally, Sequatchie County and Morgan County have also issued the county-wide burn bans, according to the state Division of Forestry.
While these burn bans are active, burning any of the following is prohibited within the county lines:
- leaves, brush fence rows
- ditch banks
- construction debris, boards, plywood, decking, cardboard, etc.
- fields, grassland
- wooded areas
- campfires, cooking fires
- grills, charcoal or wood fired (but not natural or propane gas fired)
- burn barrels
- household waste
- air curtain destructors
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A violation of a Commissioner of Agriculture-imposed burn ban is considered reckless burning and is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a fine of $2,500 and/or up to 11 months 29 days in jail.