If you are considering burning anything in the Dougherty County area, there are three regulations that must be met or you could be fined.
First and most restrictive is the State of Georgia’s Clean Air Act, which prohibits all open burning in counties with a population that exceeds 65,000. This is applicable to Dougherty County; however, the Act allows occupants of residential property to burn leaves and pine straw, but nothing else can be added. The Act further restricts this to daylight hours and burning must be completely out before dark. If you hire someone to clean your property, they must remove everything to a landfill.
Second if you meet the State of Georgia’s Clean Air Act exception, then you must contact the Georgia Forestry Commission (1-800-GA-TREES or www.gfc.state.ga.us) to obtain a burn permit. Their permit is based on if current weather conditions are safe to burn. They cannot give you permission to violate the State of Georgia’s Clean Air Act.
The third and final regulation is that of the Georgia State adopted Fire Code. The Fire Code deals with safety while burning. To be a legal burn, the pile must be farther than fifty (50) feet from any structure, or fifteen (15) feet from the structure if a metal drum is used, and someone has to be present with a garden hose the entire time it is burning.
It is important to note, even if you meet all the regulations for a legal burn in Dougherty County; remember if you start a fire and it damages someone else’s property, you can be held liable for their damages.
For any questions regarding burn pits or the application process, contact:
Albany Fire Department
Station 1 Headquarters
320 N. Jackson St