The No. 1 cause of wildfires in Georgia is debris burning. When people stop and take time to get burn permits, the number of wildfires is drastically reduced. More than half of the 8,433 wildfires in Georgia last year were caused by debris burning, affecting a total of 37,000 acres.
The Georgia Forestry Commission offers several ways to secure a burn permit, including an online form and a new toll free permitting number. You can also visit a commission office to receive a permit.
“OK2 Burn” automated permits are valid only for the date issued and for burning only natural debris in a fire measuring less than six feet by six feet. Permit numbers will not be issued by this system. The caller’s zip code, telephone number and the calls’ date and time stamp will now serve as burn permit verification for both GFC and the applicant.Launched in October 2005, the new burn permit system gives homeowners an easy way to get approval for outdoor burning activities. By calling 1-877-OK2-BURN, toll-free, callers can automatically find out if conditions are appropriate for burning natural debris outside city limits.
The burning of paper, household trash, plastics, or other man-made materials is prohibited and invalidates the permit. Fires are required to be extinguished by dusk and the permit holder must take adequate precautions to prevent flames from escaping. The automated system applies only to fires to be burned outside city limits. Residents wanting to burn within city limits should call their local fire department to ensure they are permitted by city regulations.
Landowners seeking permission to burn forest lands, agricultural space, or debris piles larger than six feet by six feet should continue to call their local county unit of the Georgia Forestry Commission.