A ban on open burning will be in effect from May 1 to Sept. 30.

The Summer Open Burn Ban from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division includes Cherokee and 53 other Georgia counties.

During the summer months, ground level ozone in the air can reach unhealthy levels, according to Cherokee Fire and Emergency Services. The open burning ban prohibits citizens and businesses from burning yard and land-clearing debris during this period. This ban is in addition to the rule that prohibits the burning of household garbage, which is never allowed anywhere in Georgia.

“We have had six incidents of ‘illegal burns’ and 24 incidents of ‘brush/grass/vegetation fires’ since Jan. 1 of this year,” Cherokee County Fire Investigator Cheri Collett said in a news release.

The combination of relative low humidity and dry fuel can make high fire danger conditions, which Cherokee County has been experiencing lately. These conditions have led to several fires causing major damage in the area, including house fires. To keep yourself and property safe, Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services offered some guidelines to remember.

While many types of outdoor fires are prohibited during the burn ban, there are certain types allowed all year. These include fires used for cooking food, and recreational fires and bonfires that only burn logs or clean wood. Additional rules about these types of fires can be found at www.cherokeecountyfire.org.

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