Fall wildfire season begins in Tennessee

From Staff Reports

   The fire season in Tennessee begins today and will last until May 15. Residents planning to burn open-fires within close proximity of forests during this period are required to call their local State Forestry office for a burning permit.
   "These permits are issued right over the phone at no cost to the public," John Henderson, Fire Prevention Forester with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, said.
   Burning permits can be obtained by calling 725-3281 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
   Over 2100 acres of forest have been burned so far this year in the twelve northeastern counties that make up District 1 of the State Forestry Division. "The majority of these fires resulted from arson and careless outdoor burning," Henderson said.
   Henderson urges landowners to use caution when burning outdoors. "Simple safety measures such as watching the wind, raking or plowing a control line around the area to be urged and staying with the fire until it is out can go a long way in helping prevent a wildfire," Henderson said.
   Recent showers have eased the drought like conditions in the area. However, Henderson stated that it only takes a few dry days to increase the danger of having a wildfire.
   The public is advised to report any information regarding arson fires by calling the Tennessee Arson Hotline at 800-762-3017. Rewards are offered for useful information.