NORTH METRO ATLANTA, Ga. — Georgia’s annual ban on outdoor burning will end Sept. 30 in 54 counties, primarily in the northern half of the state.

From May 1 through the end of September, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division mandates the restrictions to protect air quality from emissions that may increase ground level ozone.

“Our first concern is always safety,” said Georgia Forestry Commission Protection Chief Frank Sorrells. “Recent rainfall from tropical storms have provided sufficient moisture in some parts of the state to lower the overall fire danger, however there are some pockets of dryness in the northwest part of the state and in the greater Savannah area.”

The 54 counties whose burn bans were lifted on Oct. 1 include Forsyth, Fulton, Hall, Cobb and Gwinnett.

Sorrells said the leading cause of wildfire in Georgia is debris burning that gets out of control. In addition to a permit, burners should take extra precautions by clearing flammable material and vegetation from around the fire area, and have a shovel, water and cell phone on hand. Never leave a fire unattended.

“The Georgia Forestry Commission recognizes the value of prescribed fire and the desire for residents to utilize fire’s many benefits,” said Sorrells. “Fortunately, technology has enabled us to have very precise weather forecasting abilities. We’re working closer than ever with landowners to keep open burning safe and productive.”

For specific information about current fire conditions in your area, permitting and safe burning practices, contact your county’s GFC office or visit GaTrees.org.

For specific information about Forsyth County burning restrictions, call 770-387-4900. Fulton County residents can call 404-362-2671.

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