November 11, 2016 - Chattanooga, TN - The Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture has issued a burn ban for Hamilton County. A violation of the burn ban issued by is considered reckless burning and is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor which carries a fine of $2,500 and/or up to 11 months 29 days in jail.
State Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton has issued a burn ban for Bledsoe, Clairborne, Cumberland, Hamilton, Jefferson, Loudon, Marion, Monroe, Polk, Robertson, Sequatchie and Sevier Counties. The burn ban is effective immediately and will remain in place until further notice.
The ban applies to all open-air burning including leaf and woody debris and construction burning, campfires, outdoor grills and other fire activity in areas outside of municipalities where local ordinances apply.
“Due to dry conditions and little prospect for rain, firefighters are seeing an increase in fire activity across the state,” Commissioner Templeton said. “The public should use good judgment and avoid situations that cause fire and put citizens, property and emergency workers at risk.”
Under state law, the Commissioner of Agriculture, in consultation with the state forester, has the authority to issue burn bans at the request of county mayors under certain weather conditions. Requests for a burn ban are considered based on a number of factors including weather, climate, fire danger, fire occurrence and resource availability.
A violation of a burn ban issued by the Commissioner is considered reckless burning and is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor which carries a fine of $2,500 and/or up to 11 months 29 days in jail.
Examples of prohibited fires or burning:
• fence rows
• ditch banks
• construction debris
• boards, plywood, decking, etc.
• wooded areas
• cooking fires
• grills, charcoal or wood fired (but not natural or propane gas fired)
• burn barrels
• household waste
• air curtain destructors
Campgrounds that are administered by State or Federal Government may impose their own limits on campfires and cooking fires within their property.