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Burn ban ends as October begins
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Burn permits

To obtain a residential burn permit:
  • Call 770-536-2442. Follow the instructions. At the end of the recording, residents will receive a burn permit number that is valid for that day only.

To obtain a land-clearing burn permit:
  • Call the Hall County Fire Marshal’s Office at 770-531-6838 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Those requesting the permit must give the fire marshal’s office at least 24 hours’ notice before the scheduled burn to ensure the office has time to inspect the property.
  • Land-clearing fires require a pit and an air curtain destructor.

To have a bonfire:
  • Notify the fire marshal’s office at 770-531-6838 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Burning rules
  • Residents are only allowed to burn natural plant growth. Newspapers and cardboard boxes are considered illegal burning material.
  • Anyone who burns without a permit or burns illegal material is subject to a fine.

Feel the chill? Leave that sweater in the closet — it’s bonfire season again.

A state-mandated burn ban ended Wednesday, meaning marshmallow-roasting and pitchfork wielding again is allowed in 54 counties around Atlanta, including Hall.

The end of the ban also opens the door for yard-cleaning and land-clearing fires in the county.

But before striking a match, make sure to call the Hall County Fire Marshal’s office first, Fire Marshal Scott Cagle said.

The fire marshal’s office requires residents to obtain permits for residential and land-clearing fires. Neither permit costs money, but both require some planning.

To burn trees or clear property, the fire marshal’s office requires residents to have a pit and an air curtain destructor, a device that blows air into the pit to help the fire burn hotter and faster with less smoke, Cagle said.

Land-clearing permits are valid for 30 days, but the fire marshal’s office must have at least 24 hours’ notice to inspect sites before giving a land-clearing permit, Cagle said.

The fire marshal’s office also requires a permit for smaller-scale fires, Cagle said. Residents who want to burn leaves or small tree limbs can obtain a residential burn permit by calling an automated line, Cagle said. A residential burn permit is valid for one day, and the fires it allows must be extinguished by dark, Cagle said.

Bonfires are allowed after dark, but Cagle asks that residents planning them notify the fire marshal’s office.

“We want to try to deter sending that million-dollar fire truck down the road for no reason,” Cagle said.

The annual burn ban, imposed by the state’s Environmental Protection Division in the metropolitan Atlanta area, helps limit unhealthy levels of ozone in the air during the summer months, according to the Georgia Forestry Commission’s Web site. Each year, it lasts from May 1 to Sept. 30.

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