BURN BAN: Drought, Fires Prompting Burn Bans in Southeast. What you need to know about the burn ban effecting several states.
As drought dries up forests across the South with no sign of rainfall to help quench dozens of major wildfires, the Tennessee Valley Authority is banning burning on its public lands in seven states. The rules apply across Tennessee and in parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia.
That means no campfires, not even cigarette smoking, and cars can’t park off-road where a hot tailpipe could light up dry grass or leaves.
⦁ There is a burn ban in South Carolina for portions of the Midlands and the Upstate.
⦁ As drought-stressed forests burn across much of the South – including a blaze scorching a Manhattan-sized area of north Georgia – some traditional outdoor activities are now also banned.
⦁ The Tennessee Valley Authority issued a burn ban Tuesday on its public lands across Tennessee and in parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia. The authority said its ban applies to anything that might produce an open flame.
⦁ Gov. Bill Haslam, meanwhile, banned outdoor burning outright in more than half of Tennessee’s counties through December 15. Details can be found at the Burn Safe Website.
⦁ In Alabama, Fire Marshal Scott Pilgreen said state officers are investigating two of nearly 1,100 statewide wildfires as possible arson. No arrests have been made, but officers have issued misdemeanor citations for allegedly violated the statewide no-burn order. Alabama’s fire marshal says state officers are investigating two of nearly 1,100 statewide wildfires as possible arson. Fire Marshal Scott Pilgreen says a fire that burned 800 acres in DeKalb County and a series of three blazes that burned 65 acres along Interstate 65 north of Birmingham last week are under investigation
⦁ Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has banned the ignition of all fireworks in much of the state due to the wildfire risk. Fire officials said the largest active wildfire in the South has now burned more than 19,000 acres in the north Georgia mountains – an area larger than New York’s Manhattan.
⦁ Federal and state forestry officials said The fires in North Carolina now cover in excess of 40,000 acres.
The U.S. Forestry Service says the Georgia blaze has now burned through more than half of the Cohutta Wilderness area and has crossed over the Conasauga River.
U.S. Forest Service spokesman Adam Rondeau has said the agency is tracking wildfires that have burned a total of 80,000 acres across the South.
The National Park Service has closed another section of the Appalachian Trail, which is now closed for several miles through parts of Georgia and North Carolina
Also, two men were arrested Monday on charges related to setting separate fires along roadsides in Tennessee. Of the 1,238 wildfires in the state so far this year, officials suspect arson in almost half of them. The state’s arson reward fund has grown to offer up to $2,500 for a tip that lead to an arson arrest and conviction. Tennessee’s Farm Bureau Federation and Forestry Association have donated to the fund. The arson hotline is 1-800-762-3017