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Go ahead and burn it: Gainesville lifts ban

Burning trash in city, with a permit, OK until May 1

POSTED: April 1, 2008 5:00 a.m.

For the first time since last April, residents living within the city limits of Gainesville can apply for a permit to burn yard refuse.

On Friday, Gainesville fire officials lifted the total burn ban that had been in effect for more than 10 months. Hall County lifted the ban in January.

Gainesville Fire Chief Jon Canada said officials were concerned that with prevalant drought conditions and the density within the city limits, “we could not open it up until we got more rainfall.”

Canada said the recent rains and moisture in the ground prompted officials to give the go-ahead.

“I’m sure this time of year, especially with the storm damage, residents would like to burn off some of the limbs and leaves,” Canada said.

The state of Georgia imposes a statewide burn ban from May until October for air quality purposes.

That ban was extended by local officials because of the drought.

The city of Gainesville requires persons who want to burn outdoors to call for an onsite inspection. If approved, they can burn brush or limbs that do not exceed one inch in diameter, leaves and grass. Residents may not burn household garbage, paper products or lumber scraps.

Canada said burns must be attended at all times and a working water hose should be within reach. The fires must be at least 50 feet away from any structure, roadway or property line, and be extinguished before nightfall.

Fires should also be extinguished if wind speeds exceed 10 mph, he said.

“As always, any time you have a fire going, don’t leave it unattended and take all safety precautions,” Canada said. “If gets out of control in any way, call 911.”

Canada said the city averaged about 15 burn permits per month. He expects between 15 and 30 applications with the initial lifting of the ban.

The city is also taking applications for commercial burn permits which are issued for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

To call for an on-site inspection, call 770-534-3612.


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