Tuesday, May 1, many counties will be under an outdoor burn ban, including Walton and Gwinnett.
The annual ban, which runs through Sept. 30, is put into effect by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division due to health concerns associated with pollutants created by outdoor burning — the smoke can negatively impact air quality during hot summer months by contributing to high ozone levels.
"These restrictions are required by the state Environmental Protection Division so that fewer chemicals and particle pollutants are released into the air," Georgia Forestry Commission Chief of Forest Protection Frank Sorrells said in a news release. "The risk of wildfire is also high at this time, and the Georgia Forestry Commission will be closely monitoring fire activity to keep Georgians and their property safe."
The open burn ban prohibits residents and businesses from burning yard debris or land clearing debris.
If a resident wants to burn yard debris prior to May 1, there's still time. However, individuals must obtain a burn permit from the Georgia Forestry Commission if they live in Walton County. Burn permits for residents inside the city limits of Loganville need to be obtained from Loganville Fire and Gwinnett County residents need to be obtained burn permits from Gwinnett Fire. By obtaining a permit, residents will be able to determine if burning is permitted that day.
“If everyone obeys these regulations we will all be able to breathe better,” Dakin said in the release. “This will help us all to have a great summer.”