Authorities hope to put a stop to illegal burning - WSMV Channel 4

Authorities hope to put a stop to illegal burning

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Dry days and unseasonably warm temperatures can make a dangerous combination if you introduce a flame. We saw that last Friday as fire crews in Rutherford County responded to the scene of a massive fire, and it was started by someone without a burn permit.

A plume of smoke filled the sky near the Rutherford-Williamson line last week as a fast-moving fire burned out of control. It took seven hours before it was finally contained. It started as a small trash fire, which was left unattended.

"Within 20-25 minutes, we were fighting a 25-acre woods fire," said Chief Larry Farley with Rutherford County Fire and Rescue.

Farley said this time of year folks tend to do more outside burning for one reason or another. He said people need to keep in mind however, that after Oct. 15, a burn permit is not just recommended, it's required. The home owner Friday was burning brush and plastic.

"It can quickly endanger other homes," Farley said. "When you start a fire like that and it gets out of control, you're responsible for that."

There were several grass fires in Rutherford County this summer. With dry conditions at that time, several mid-state cities and counties issued burn bans.

"Once it gets off in the tree lines, we're not able to get our trucks back in there, our brush units with our water tanks," Farley said. "It's more of a manpower issue."

Farley said there are three things folks should keep in mind never burn without a burn permit, make sure weather conditions are favorable, unlike today where it is sort of windy, and never leave a fire unattended.

If you burn illegally it could hit you deep in the pockets.

"The state can come out and investigate through Tennessee Air Quality Control, and if they find you burning anything that's not God made, they can fine you up to $25,000," Farley said.

Folks can obtain a burn permit through Tennessee Forestry Commission, Farley said.

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