Burning permits focus attention on the safe use of fire. From October 15 through May 15, anyone starting an open-air fire within 500 feet of a forest, grassland, or woodland must by law secure a burning permit from the Division of Forestry. Permits are not required for burning in containers such as a metal barrel with a ½" mesh screen cover. Anyone needing to burn within an incorporated city should contact city authorities about any local burning ordinances. Many towns and cities have their own burning regulations that supersede the Division of Forestry’s burning permit program. Permits from the Division of Forestry are free of charge and may be obtained by calling the Division of Forestry phone number for the county where the burning will be done or by filling out the online application that can be found here.
Permits will not be issued on days and in locations if it is considered unsafe to conduct a debris burn. For information on what materials may NOT be burned in Tennessee, please visit Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's Open Burning Guidelines by clicking here.
To report illegal burning, please call toll-free 1-888-891-TDEC
IMPORTANT: Once you obtain your permit from the Division of Forestry, please call the Dispatch non-emergency number 615-898-7929 and provide your permit number and address.
It is also illegal to burn any materials that are transported from one site to another for the purpose of burning.Transporting any materials natural or man-made, dumping, and burning on another site or receiving materials to burn is subject to steep fines. State law allows for a civil penalty of up to $25,000 per day for each day of violation of the Air Quality Act regardless of the size of the burn.