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Annual burn ban to end today
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Gainesville and Hall County residents will again be allowed to burn, beginning today, with the proper permits, according to county and city fire officials.

Hall County Fire Services offers residential and land-clearing burn permits, said  Fire Marshal Scott Cagle.

A residential burn permit allows people to burn leaves and small tree limbs (no bigger than 3 inches in diameter).

To obtain a residential burn permit, call 770-536-2442. Residents should follow the instructions on the automated line. At the end of the recording, a resident will receive a burn permit number good for that day only.

Different guidelines apply for obtaining a land-clearing burn permit.

If you remove trees and want to burn them, you must get a land-clearing burn permit. This type of permit requires an inspection from the Hall County Fire Marshal’s Office, and you must have a pit and an air curtain destructor before starting the burn.

To obtain this permit, call the Hall County Fire Marshal’s Office at 770-531-6838 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. You must give the office at least 24 hours’ notice to ensure inspection.

According to the state Environmental Protection Division, the only agricultural burns permitted are the burning of crops (i.e. corn) and fields of grass, wheat or rye. Clearing trees for a pasture requires a land-clearing burn permit.

Only natural plant growth may be burned. Burning other materials or without a permit will subject residents to a citation and fine.

Lifting of the burn ban could be delayed by high winds or low relative humidity. Call the burn permit line to check the availability of permits on the day you want to burn.

“We understand citizens want to burn their yard debris, but life and property safety supersedes the privilege to burn — we want people to be as safe as possible,” Cagle said.

For additional questions, call the fire marshal’s office at 770-531-6838 or click on www.hallcountyfire.org.

In the city of Gainesville, residents seeking a burn permit should call 770-534-3612, said Gainesville Division Chief Keith Smith.

Burns in the city must be done between sunrise and sunset, must be 50 feet from any structure and property lines, and an adult must be present the entire time the fire is burning.

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