Debris Burning

The state will require a debris burn permit for leaf and brush piles from Oct. 15 until May 15.

In the city of Tullahoma, the fire department monitors atmospheric conditions and determines on a daily basis whether leaf burning in the city limits is permissible. If you see a form displayed on the city’s webpage under the heading “burn permits” in the fire department section, burning is allowed for the day and you may fill out the form to obtain a burn permit. If you do not see a form displayed on the page, burning is not allowed for the day.

For complaints about illegal burning inside Tullahoma, call 931-455-0936, or if no answer call the officer in charge at 931-434-5097. If no one answers the crew on duty is most likely on a call. You may leave a message. You may only burn natural, non-man made product. You may not burn more than three cubic yards at a time without prior inspection and approval from fire department personnel. For large piles burners may call 931-455-0936 to schedule an inspection.

Other rules for burning inside the Tullahoma city limit includes that the burner must have a water source close by; the burner must stay with the fire while it is burning; the fire must be completely extinguished by 4 p.m. and burning cannot not begin until 9 a.m.

“Fire prevention is everyone’s responsibility,” State Forester David Arnold said. “Thanks to rainfall, our wildfire numbers are low so far this fall. However, it’s always necessary to practice safe debris burning and remember that state permits are required starting next week in areas where local governments do not have established outdoor burning ordinances.”

Debris Burn Permits outside the Tullahoma city limit for leaf and brush piles are available at no charge via the MyTN mobile app or online at www.BurnSafeTN.org. Online permits can be obtained daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Central Time for any size leaf and brush burn pile. Each pile should be completely out by the permit expiration. For larger, broadcast burning, such as forestry, agricultural, and land clearing, call the Division of Forestry burn permit phone number at 877-350-BURN (2876) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. If you have limited access to internet, this number can also be used for a debris burn permit, but callers can expect lengthy wait times when call volume is high.

Permits are issued only when conditions are conducive to safe burning. If you live inside city limits, check with your municipality for additional restrictions before you burn.

A list of materials that are not allowed to be burned can be found from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation at www.tn.gov/environment/program-areas/apc-air-pollution-control-home/apc/open-burning.html.

Burning without a permit is a class C misdemeanor and punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine. Wildfires caused by arson are a class C felony punishable by three to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Anyone with information about suspected arson activity should call the state Fire Marshal’s Arson Hotline at 1-800-762-3017. The hotline is answered 24 hours a day, and callers may remain anonymous. Cash awards are offered for information leading to an arrest or conviction. Call 1-888-891-TDEC to report illegal burning outside the Tullahoma city limit.