Posted: 03/04/2022

Spring is here and so is outdoor burning season in Alabama. State law requires that you obtain a permit from the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) before you burn any woodland, grassland, field, or new ground that is over one-quarter acre in size or lies within 25 feet of natural fuels, such as woods or grass. Obtaining a burn permit allows the AFC to know which fires are controlled and which are wildfires. If your proposed burn is less than one-quarter acre you do not need a burn permit.

Permits are free of charge and can be obtained in just a few minutes over the telephone. You can get a permit by calling the Alabama Forestry Commission dispatch center at (800) 392-5679. You’ll be asked a few questions about your burn such as, the location of the burn by giving the Lat/Long. (You can determine this information by using the AFC ‘Lat + Long Locator Map’ at https://forestry.alabama.gov/Pages/Maps/Locator.aspx) Other information you will need to provide is the size of the burn, what you are burning (grassland/fields/forests), and the purpose of the burn.

In addition, you must have adequate tools, equipment, and manpower to stay with and control the fire the entire period that it is active to ensure that it doesn’t escape. Even though the burner has a permit, he/she is still responsible for any damage to others that may be caused if the fire escapes or smoke from the fire.

The permit may be canceled by the AFC for failure to comply with the terms of the permit, weather condition changes which cause erratic and dangerous fire behavior, or if the burn produces smoke which becomes a hazard to others or contributes to a degradation of air quality.

Some local municipalities issue their own burn permits. You will need to check with your local fire department for any county and city laws that may restrict outdoor burning. It is also a good idea to notify your local fire department that you will be burning.

The mission of the Alabama Forestry Commission is to protect and sustain Alabama’s forest resources using professionally applied stewardship principles and education, ensuring that the state’s forests contribute to abundant timber and wildlife, clean air and water, and a healthy economy. For more information about the fire situation in your area or any other forestry related issues, contact your local Alabama Forestry Commission office or visit the AFC website at www.forestry.alabama.gov