According to the Environmental Protection Division air quality can deteriorate in summer. Therefore, certain open burning activities are prohibited from May 1st through September 30 in the following counties:
Burning activities such as reduction of leaves on premises, acquired structure burns, vegetative debris from storms, weed abatement, disease, and pest prevention, land clearing, construction, and right of way maintenance, and land clearing with air curtain destructors are not permitted until fall.
Prescribed burning is also not permitted in Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Rockdale, Spalding and Walton counties.
The Summer Burn Ban is nothing new, and in fact has been in place since 2005. Karen Hays, Chief of the Environmental Protection Division’s Air Protection Branch explains that Georgia typically sees air quality issues in summer due to the hot weather. When the weather is hot, it helps create ground level ozone. “Ozone pollution can cause inflammation of the lungs and can lead to other health-related issues.” says Hays.
It’s also important to note that recreational activities like grilling or campfires do not qualify and are exempt from the open burning ban. Agricultural operations are also exempt from burning vegetative materials.For more information on Georgia’s burning ban click here.