NASHVILLE, Tenn. - As Autumn temperatures lend to fall colors and falling leaves many will be tempted to burn the debris, but experts have warned them to be careful. A wooded area can easily turn into a forest fire.
Fire crews in Wilson County battled two major fires Tuesday. One was a controlled burn near Mount Juliet that got out of control when the winds picked up.
Just a few miles away crews battled the other blaze near Lebanon where strong winds caused a massive brush fire to spread.
"That is a primary fuel for wildfires," Tim Phelps with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture's Division of Forestry said. "Middle Tennessee has been under dry conditions for a good time now."
Fire season begins on Oct.15, meaning anyone who wants to burn debris must get a burn permit. However, weather conditions have already leant to some dangerous situations.
"Throughout the state there's maybe a half dozen or so cities that have issued their own restrictions in terms of debris burning," Phelps said.
La Vergne and Murfreesboro have already issued burn bans. "In a typical year about 45 percent of our wildfires that we respond to statewide are caused by escaped debris burns, it's quite a bit," said Phelps.
Burn permits help crews keep controlled fires in control. "We have a permit, we know where those debris fires are and we can respond quickly," he said.
Without them property owners could face citations, fines and even jail time. Click here, to learn more about burn restrictions or apply for a burning permit.
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