Tennessee Division of Forestry urges extra caution for outdoor burning

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) It's that time of year again where the leaves are falling and sticks and branches litter the yard. But with that comes the potential for for wildfires that can cause extensive damage.

In the past week, East Tennessee has seen wildfires burn roughly 70 acres in Anderson County, and more than 300 acres in Cocke County.

October 15 through May 15 is considered Tennessee's fire season due to the lack of precipitation that typically falls.

Nathan Waters with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture's Forestry Department is urging anyone who is burning brush piles or camp fires to practice extra caution.

"95 percent or more of the wildfires in Tennessee are human caused...That means 95 percent of the fires in Tennessee are preventable," Waters said.

Waters said that anytime anyone is outside burning to be sure and call the local Division of Forestry to get a free permit. Calling for a permit allows the local fire departments know where to expect to see smoke.

Waters recommended some easy tips to practice while burning.

Stay away from woods because it can cause embers to blow into the trees, as well as ignite fallen leaves and dead grass. Also, build a perimeter of dirt around the burn pile to help keep the fire from spreading across the grass.

Most importantly, be sure to have a large enough water supply close at hand to be able to adequately extinguish all flames and coals.

To get more information about burning permits, or to request a permit, log onto burnsafeTN.org.

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