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Hall County to lift burn ban
Official cautions ban could return soon
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The longest outdoor burning ban in recent Hall County history will be lifted today, though it may be back in effect again soon, officials said.

Hall County Fire Marshal Scott Cagle said beginning today, residential burning of small tree limbs and leaves and land clearing burns of natural debris will be allowed with a permit. It will be the first time since March 31 that the outdoor burns have been permitted in Hall County.

Georgia’s extreme drought conditions prompted officials to extend the burn ban beyond the traditional state-mandated April to October period.

However, recent rains have made burning relatively safe, for now.

"With the rains we had in December, as well as the last couple of days, we felt it OK to do so," Cagle said. "That doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind. You should still stay with the fire at all times and only burn legal material."

Cagle said on a busy weekend, anywhere from 500 to 800 burns will be permitted.

"I think it will be a very busy weekend," Cagle said.

Typically, people have until April to burn outdoors, but Cagle said it looks as if the ban could be back in place before then.

"We’re lucky to have this rain right now, but if the dry pattern returns as everyone is predicting, I can foresee it being cut back off even before the state-mandated time," Cagle said.

The lifting of the ban is day-to-day and may be imposed again during days with strong winds or low humidity, Cagle said.

Those wishing to burn at their homes should call 770-536-2442. For land clearing, call 770-531-6838.