Public Safety: Outdoor Burning Information From the Fire Marshal’s Office and Community Risk Reduction DivisionBy Lisa M. Grisham, CPSTIAs of October 1, 2023, Cherokee County resumed “normal” outdoor burning rules and regulations, which are posted on the Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services (CCFES) website (CherokeeCountyFire.org). Each year, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources issues a burn ban on open burning from May 1 to September 30. The outdoor burn ban affects 54 Georgia counties, including Cherokee. CCFES enforces the burn ban in unincorporated Cherokee County.Permits are not required for yard debris fires and recreational fires.Yard waste means limited natural vegetation yard debris. Natural vegetation includes leaves, pine straw, and dry brush/limbs no more than six inches in diameter that have fallen or been cut from growth on one’s own property. NOTE: Use of a charged garden hose and rake/shovel are required.Recreational fires are outdoor fires in which only logs or clean wood are being burned where the fuel is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, barbecue grill, or barbecue pit and has a total fuel area of three feet or less in diameter and two feet or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth, or similar purposes and which is not used to dispose of garbage or yard waste. NOTE: Use of a charged garden hose is required.Permits are required for bonfires and land-clearing fires.Bonfires are larger than recreational fires, but they also only use logs or clean wood for ceremonial burnings. Land burns are the burning of debris in an area for the purpose of land clearing, which requires the use of an air curtain destructor. Contact the Cherokee County Fire Marshal’s Office at 678-493-6290 to obtain permits for these types of burns. Penalties - The county marshal or her/his designee shall be authorized to issue a citation returnable to the magistrate’s court for violations. Any person who violates any provision of the Outdoor Burning Ordinance shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a violation of such ordinance and shall be punished in accordance with Sections 1-12 and as it may be amended from time to time.Remember SSTAR* during outdoor burnings.SPACE — At least 25 feet between fire and woodlandsSPACE — At least 50 feet between fire and structuresTIME — 10:00am to one hour before sunsetATTENDANCE — Person responsible must stay onsite until fire is completely extinguished and there is no risk of spreadREASONABLE PRECAUTIONS — Examples include tools/measures in place to prevent escaped fire such as continuous pressurized water source on site; manmade or natural barrier to contain fire such as bare soil, rocks, bricks, rake, shovel, garden hoe, etc.; and awareness to National Weather Service red flag warnings, High Fire Danger designation of “very high” or “extreme” days, and other hazardous conditions such as low relative humidity and high winds.In case of Emergency CALL 911. For more information, visit CherokeeCountyFire.org. *SSTAR is an educational tool from the Georgia Forestry Commission.