Burn ban ends today

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To burn or not to burn. That is the question.

Georgia's seasonal ban on outdoor burning, designed to protect air quality, expires today, but emergency officials warn that extreme dry weather still makes it hazardous to burn trash.

"If people plan to burn, we encourage them to check the weather first," said Ranger Larry Felix, of the Georgia Forestry Commission's Harlem office. "If humidity is low and winds are high, we encourage them not to burn. Those are the two main factors that can cause problems."

Much of Georgia, including Richmond and Columbia counties, are under an outright ban on outdoor burning from May 1 to Sept. 30 each year.

With the ban lifted, residents need to remain aware that residential brush burning is a major cause of wildfires, said Alan Dozier, the chief of forest protection for the Georgia Forestry Commission.

"Georgia's ongoing drought is still of concern," he said, "and the major cause of wildfire is debris burning that gets out of control."

The burning ban, instituted by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division in 2005, affects 54 counties, mostly in or near larger metropolitan areas.

The primary objective is to reduce ground-level ozone, which is formed from the burning of fuels and other combustible materials. High ozone levels most affect the elderly, the very young and those with asthma or pulmonary problems.

Reach Rob Pavey at (706) 868-1222, ext. 119, or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.

BURN PERMITS


- Permits can be obtained from the Georgia Forestry Commission by calling (877) 652-2876 or going to www.gatrees.org. The local forestry services office number is (706) 556-3962.


- Burn permits are good only for the day of issue and can be used only for yard debris, such as leaf piles, which must be no larger than 6 by 6 feet.


- Fires cannot be started before 8 a.m. and must be extinguished before dark. In populated areas, burning should be conducted between 10 a.m. and 30 minutes before dark.


- It is unlawful to burn man-made materials such as tires, plastics, paper or household trash.


- Permits will not be issued on days when fire danger is high.

Source: Georgia Forestry Commission

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johmbie
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johmbie 10/01/08 - 05:17 am
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At least we can still burn at

At least we can still burn at all. Some person was circulating flyers last year trying to outlaw it completely in Columbia County!

Pistol
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Pistol 10/01/08 - 03:36 pm
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It's stupid and thoughtless

It's stupid and thoughtless to your neighbors to burn in a residential area. We've been waiting for these cool breezy afternoons for months only to have them spoiled by some idiot burning leaves. I live in Grovetown and we have debris pickup that is included in our water/trash bill and there is NO reason to burn.

brown
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brown 10/01/08 - 03:58 pm
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Amen, Pistol!

Amen, Pistol!

Tujeez
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Tujeez 10/01/08 - 10:01 pm
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johmbie,guess you know who

johmbie,guess you know who thinks it was a good idea. The problem with the article is that it fails to mention that the BAN was enacted by politicians in an effort to skim in under the radar of the new stricter guidelines on the clean air act. The "Ground Level Ozone" they're referring to is SMOG. They don't want any of you good citizens burning during Smog season. Because the emissions from the chemical plants and other factories in the area are doing enough to cause Smog, on their own. If you were in the know, you'd realize that these guys do more to pollute the enviroment than any citizen ever could by burning. The good citizens have had their rights stripped in favor of these polluters. So you suffer so they don't have too, and in two ways. You lose your rights and you suffer from their pollution anyway. This is how they do it, subversively, so you don't notice. When "ozone" levels get too high due to their pollution, you'll lose the right to use charcoal for grilling and any other reason. Then you'll see vehicle emission standards increase, followed by costly inspections with the obligatory fees for said inspections(certification stickers) and fines for non-compliance.

Tujeez
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Tujeez 10/01/08 - 10:26 pm
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Continued... The fees for

Continued... The fees for these "services" will be used to offset the increased regulatory expenses these companies will have to pay for the operating permits they must purchase to operate in Non-Compliant 'zones' and for the fines municipalities will incur as a result of being lableled non-compliant. Of course they wont tell you that either. These premiums will be offered to companies as a benefit for remaining in the area (enterprise zones). So you become less healthy as you lose more rights and they spread the companies operating(compliance) expenses to the citizens of the whole state. I.E. You don't live in the City of ____ (fill in the blank) but, you will be tapped as a resource to cover said citys' operating expenses. At least, if you live far enough away, you will have clean air to breathe(at least that's what they'll tell you.) Small pittance to pay for the clean air act. Huh? And you thought companies would cover the cost of compliance? Have another load of compost mushroom.

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