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Sevierville lifts open burn ban, reminds people permits still required

Is it safe to douse that pile of brush from your latest yard work project? Hot and dry conditions can bring the perfect storm, so be smart about burning debris.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — UPDATE (10-23-2019): Sevierville has lifted its temporary ban on open burning in the city.

The ban had been in effect due to extremely dry conditions and increased fire risk, but some much-needed rain has been moving through the area.

Fire officials said they will continue monitoring conditions. People are reminded they are still required to obtain a permit to begin any open burning within Sevierville city limits. 

Original Story: 

It hits you the moment you walk outside your front door.

Hot, dry weather. 

And if you don't feel it, you can see it reflected in your parched grass and early falling leaves.

Though it may feel like it, East Tennessee currently isn't in a drought. We haven't had any rain since the start of September and chances aren't looking too great.

Fire officials say you shouldn't be worried-- even though areas across our region are experiencing abnormally dry conditions, it's still okay.

However, if you live in the city of Sevierville, a temporary burn ban has been issued.

RELATED: Sevierville FD issues temporary ban on open burning

Rules and regulations regarding burning are different for every city and county.

In Knox County, you have to have a burn permit year around. It's free and you can apply here.

Fire season begins Oct. 15, so until then, officials say you should just be vigilant and smart. 

RELATED: Seven Islands Birding Park conducts prescribed burn

If the conditions are right, fires can still get out of hand.

Here's a few reminders for those burning at home:

  • Don't burn certain products; like petroleum products, fiberglass, shingles, asbestos--only burn locally grown vegetation from your property
  • Don't pile up brush too high
  • Don't set it too close to the woods or edge of a field
  • Watch the size of your fire, pay attention to the wind conditions
  • Hook up your hose and have it ready
  • Stay with the fire till it is out
  • Wet the ashes a bit to make sure
  • Always have extra people and tools on hand to help

"Most of our debris fires that get away, number one they are too close to the woods and the wind picks up and moves an ember," Nathan Waters with the Division of Forestry said. "Number two is people don't stay with them till they are out. You need to wet it down. Sift through that and use your hose and put it completely out"."

Waters says you can't hide a spreading fire either. Fires that happen from spots that aren't completely out have a V-pattern.

Yesterday, he and his team assisted Seven Islands State Birding Park with a prescribed burn at the park. 

The goal was to clear out unwanted vegetation.

If you have more questions about burn permits, you can visit burnsafetn.gov