Georgia lifts burn ban, burn permits to be issued when weather clears

Published 5:05 pm Monday, December 5, 2016

By John Simpson

The burn ban in Decatur County has been lifted following the string of rainstorms that passed through the area over the last two weeks.

With the drought finally seeming to be over, at least for the meantime, the Georgia Forestry Commission in Decatur County will allow for burn permits to be given out after the weather pattern over the county clears up.

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A few people were allowed to burn last week after the storms on Thursday and Friday, said Rodney Heard, the Chief Ranger for the Georgia Forestry Commission over Decatur and Seminole Counties.

As fires caused by the drought broke out across different regions of the state, the Decatur and Seminole County Forestry Commission had to allocate some of its resources to different areas, leaving the counties shorthanded. The lack of resources in the area weighed in to the decision to put the burn ban in place as fires broke out across the county.

The burn ban was issued to stop fires from starting and protect property. Although it is lifted, there is no guarantee the area is out of the drought permanently.

“We need an inch of rain a week to stay out (of a drought),” Heard said.

For the meantime everything is “good to go” according to Heard, however fines will still be assessed for those caught burning without the proper permit.