Savannah firefighters have responded to more than 30 reports of open area fires during the month of January and Savannah Fire & Emergency Services wants to remind citizens about restrictions on outdoor burning within the city limits of Savannah.
Savannah Fire Marshal Craig Landolt points out two sections of ordinances contained in the city code that strictly prohibit outdoor burning (Sec. 3-2013 and Sec. 3-2003). “One section addresses bonfires of any size, which yard debris fires are,” says Landolt. “The other makes it unlawful for any person to make or cause any fire to be made on any street, public park or place in the city.” Landolt says the ordinances are in place for the protection of everyone because it is often difficult for individuals to monitor and maintain even the smallest fires.
Although the City of Savannah does issue burn permits for specific occasions, such as commercial debris removal and ceremonial bonfires for schools and other organizations, Landolt reminds citizens that the city does not issue any type of burn permit that allows citizens to conduct any sort of open burning outdoors such as the burning of yard debris and other waste materials. Contained burning for the purpose of warmth, cooking and similar activities is permissible.
The Georgia Forestry
Commission burn permits are not applicable to the city of Savannah. Landolt says the city ordinances supersede that agency’s permits and make it unlawful for citizens to engage in the outdoor burning of vegetation and other debris. Violations of city ordinances are misdemeanors.
Citizens who live outside the city of Savannah should check with their local authorities to determine whether outdoor burning is permissible in their jurisdictions.
Savannah firefighters also remind citizens to dispose of all smoking materials properly and to not toss cigarettes out of vehicle windows.