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National Fire Prevention Week intends to educate, save lives

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry is observing National Fire PreventionWeek (October 7-13) by reminding citizens to follow simple safety practices to prevent wildfires. The official start of wildfire season in Tennessee is October 15.

Obtaining a burn permit is free, fast, and simple. If you are burning a leaf or brush pile that is smaller than 8 feet by 8 feet in size, the online system provides a quick and efficient way to apply. The online system can be found atBurnSafeTN.org.

More than 300,000 permits are issued each year, and they are only issued when conditions are conducive to safe burning. If you live inside city limits, there may be additional restrictions. Check with your municipality before you burn.

Burning without a permit is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine. Wildfires caused by arson are a class C felony punishable by 3 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 you may remain anonymous when providing information. Cash awards are offered for information leading to an arrest or conviction. To report illegal burning, please call 1-888-891-TDEC.