Wednesday, November 21, 2012

About Cobb County's Burn Ban

Along with the beautiful fall color we've been enjoying for the past few weeks comes the work of clearing away a lot of fallen leaves and sometimes twigs and small branches. Some people prefer to rid their yards of the debris by raking it all into a pile and burning it to ashes.

The good news for all those folks is that burning such debris is allowed from the beginning of October through the end of April. The website for Cobb County's Fire and Emergency Services explains the laws regarding outdoor burning:
  • "Burning is allowed between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and one hour before sunset (no smoldering or hot coals remaining).
  • No burning is allowed on windy days (10 mph or higher) or on days when the atmospheric conditions (cloudy, overcast, or raining) would cause the smoke to remain low to the ground.
  • Burning must be attended by an adult who must be watching the fire at all times. Never leave a fire unattended.
  • A water hose must be on hand that can reach the fire, and can be ready to use if needed.
  • Fires must be at least 50 feet from all structures, including fences of combustible material, etc.
  • Fires may not be started with petroleum-based products."
The site also lists materials that may not be burned in the yard, including "garbage of any kind, construction material, plastic products, fiberglass, tree trunks, stumps, kudzu vines, or corn stalks. Any material that is moved from one location to a different property cannot be burned. Burning for recycling wires (to access metal) or tires (to access wheels) is not allowed. For information regarding alternative methods to dispose of yard waste, contact the Georgia Environmental Protection Division at 404-362-2537."

Following the rules does not guarantee that a homeowner won't be visited by the local fire department with a request to put the fire out. If a fire disrupts a neighbor's "enjoyment of life, use of property, or if someone with a health problem is affected," the fire may need to be extinguished.

Also, there are areas within the county in which burning is completely restricted. For more complete information, including links to maps that show those restricted areas, check the Fire Department's webpage about the burn ban.

November 2016 UPDATE:
The burn ban has been temporarily extended for 2016. See new information at "Cobb Fire Dept Extends Burn Ban Due to Drought."