Ban on outside burning ends today

Georgia’s outdoor burning ban that affects 54 of the state’s counties, including Clayton and Henry, ends Sept. 30.

But residents should follow guidelines to ensure their safety, and the protection of their property, said fire officials.

The burn ban started May 1. Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services Battalion Chief Jacque Feilke said residents will be able to burn yard debris starting Saturday, but should be cautious.

Clayton residents have to have a burn permit, however. They can get one by calling (770) 473-3836, after 9 a.m. Only natural vegetation, such as lawn clippings, leaves and yard debris can be burned. Trash cannot be burned.

"Outdoor burning can be a safe and effective way to rid your property of unwanted vegetation," said Feilke. "Employing common sense and safety tips will ensure your burn is safe and legal."

Feilke said outdoor burns can be done until April 30, but only during daylight hours. Accelerants, such as gasoline or lighter fluid, should never be used.

Burn piles should not be left unattended, and should be within reach of a water hose. Officials recommend burning in small, manageable piles, as opposed to one large pile.

"Keep children and animals a safe distance away," said Feilke. "And be sure the fire is completely out at the end of the day."

For information on outdoor burning safety, call the Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services headquarters, at (770) 473-7833.