Georgia's annual air quality ban on outdoor burning, mostly in the northern half of Georgia, begins on Friday, May 1, 2009. The annual restrictions will be in place for 54 counties through September 30.
"The Georgia Environmental Protection Division puts this ban in place to comply with Federal Clean Air Regulations," said Alan Dozier, Chief of Forest Protection for the Georgia Forestry Commission. "Ozone levels increase to unhealthy levels in summer," he said. "Most types of open burning are restricted during the ban in an effort to manage the summertime surge in ozone levels."
The following counties are under the 2009 burn ban: Banks, Barrow, Bartow, Bibb, Butts, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, Columbia, Coweta, Crawford, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Fulton, Gordon, Gwinnett, Hall, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, Lumpkin, Madison, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Paulding, Peach, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Putnam, Richmond, Rockdale, Spalding, Troup, Twiggs, Upson, Walker, and Walton.
The outdoor burning ban is under the jurisdiction of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Environmental Protection Division (EPD), Air Protection Branch.