Burn permits focus attention on the safe use of fire. From October 15 through May 15, anyone starting an open-air fire within 500 feet of a forest, grassland, or woodland must by law secure a burning permit from the Division of Forestry. Permits are not required for burning in containers such as a metal barrel with a ½" mesh screen cover. Anyone needing to burn within an incorporated city should contact city authorities about any local burning ordinances. Many towns and cities have their own burning regulations that supersede the Division of Forestry’s burning permit program.
The following tips should be followed when it is safe to conduct a debris burn:
Please click the following link for more inofrmation on how you can burn safely in TN: Burn Safe TN
Permits from the Division of Forestry are free of charge and may be obtained by calling the Division of Forestry phone number for the county where the burning will be done or by filling out the online application.
Permits will not be issued on days and in locations if it is considered unsafe to conduct a debris burn. For burn permits in Henry County, please call (731) 642-3808.
Escaped debris burns are the leading cause of wildfires in Tennessee. The Division’s burn permit system has dramatically helped reduce the numbers of escaped burns since the program began in 1995. Burning without a permit is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine not to exceed $50. Wildfires caused by arson are a class C felony punishable by three to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 fines. Anyone with information about suspected arson activity should call the state Fire Marshal’s Arson Hotline toll-free at 1-800-762-3017.
For information on what materials may NOT be burned in Tennessee, please visit Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's Open Burning Guidelines by clicking here. To report illegal burning, please call toll-free 1-888-891-TDEC