Beginning this month, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) open burning ban will be in effect for 54 Georgia counties including Cherokee County. This ban has been in place during the summer ozone season since 2005.
Citizens and businesses are prohibited from burning yard and land-clearing debris from May 1 through September 30. The open burning ban is in addition to the rule that prohibits the burning of household garbage, which is never allowed anywhere in Georgia.
Ground-level ozone, which is most commonly produced in the heat of the summer, can cause lung inflammation as well as other health problems. Open burning creates particle pollution, which consists of extremely small particles that can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
May through September is a time of year when people, particularly children, are more likely to be outdoors. The outdoor activity also coincides with the increase in ground-level ozone and particle pollution.
“We can’t control the weather,” said Karen Hays, chief of the Georgia EPD Air Protection Branch. “Limiting open burning during the summer months helps to improve Georgia’s air quality.”
Recreational activities, such as campfires and grilling, are exempt from the open burning ban. Agricultural activities are also exempt.
EPD recommends that citizens check with their local fire marshal and the Georgia Forestry Commission before conducting any burning.
Citizens can access more information on the open burning ban by visiting EPD.Georgia.gov (click on “Open Burning Ban” under “Quick Links”), or call the EPD Mountain District office at 770-387-4900. To contact Woodstock Fire Department’s fire marshal, please call 770-926-2302.
Source - EPD.Georgia.gov