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Know What You Can and Can’t Burn This Summer [Infographic]

July 11, 2018

At this point, we’re well into the summer … and the summer open burning ban.

Statewide, it’s illegal year-round to burn household garbage or lumber, even in a burn barrel. The Open Burning Ban further restricts what people and businesses can burn from May 1 to September 30 in 54 Georgia counties.

Make sure you know what you’re allowed to burn and not to avoid fines. Don’t want any of that vacation money to go to waste!

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In summer, ozone in the air can reach unhealthy levels. If we add fire to the equation, the smoke forms more ozone, making the air harder to breathe. For that reason, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD), Air Protection Branch regulates open burning in summer months.

What’s allowed where?

All 54 counties with a burn ban do not allow burning:

  • Acquired structures
  • Vegetative debris from storms
  • To reduce leaves or weeds
  • To prevent diseases and pests
  • For land clearing, construction, or right-of-way maintenance

Some counties have tighter restrictions during the ban, not allowing prescribed burning.

Search for your county in this list to see which type of burn restrictions, if any, you need to follow this summer, and your EPD District Office phone number for questions. If your county isn’t listed, it doesn’t have a summer ban.


Planning an end-of-summer cookout? No problem! In all counties, you can always burn for campfires and barbeques.

Additional industry-specific exemptions include:

  • Agricultural burning (not including land use changes)
  • Forestry “prescribed burning” (except for the 19 counties with tighter restrictions)
  • Firefighter training (with a permit)
  • Open flame equipment
  • Explosive disposal

About the Authors

Katie Ott is the Summer Intern for Digital Services Georgia. She helps with creating infographics, writing blog posts, and recording site analytics. She enjoys working with the Digital Services team and learning more about what they do. Katie attends Berry College in Rome, Georgia and is currently pursuing a degree in Visual Communications.


Rachel Hart is the User Experience Designer for Digital Services Georgia. On, she makes government material approachable with writing, infographics, videos, and other imagery. 

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