As of Saturday, Oct. 1, fall burn restrictions are officially in place. According to the Kuttawa Volunteer Fire Department, conditions are extremely dry, and a total burn ban may be implemented soon.

From Oct. 1 to Dec. 16, there is no burning from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. This is due to the higher temperatures during the day drying out the fuel — such as leaves, twigs and branches — that feed wildfires. The fuel loses moisture when the humidity drops during the day. Also, wind speeds pick up during the day and can spread the flames faster.

It’s OK to burn between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. The temperatures drop at night, meaning the fuel won’t dry out as fast. They also absorb the moisture from higher humidity levels at night. At night, wind speeds drop and are less likely to reignite embers or spread sparks.

It’s also illegal to burn anything within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland no matter the time of day. The Smokey Bear campaign offers the following tips to help prevent wildfires:

1. Don’t leave a campfire unattended.

2. Don’t burn dangerous things, such as aerosol cans, pressurized containers, glass or aluminum cans.

3. Don’t leave coals until they are doused and stirred until cold.

4. Don’t let your tow chain drag.

5. Don’t park over tall, dry grass.

Approved open burning includes:

  • Fires for cooking recreational and ceremonial fires.
  • Construction site warming fires (contained, clean lumber only).
  • Fires set for recognized agricultural practices.
  • Prescribed burning for forest, range, ecological or wildlife management.
  • Fires set for weed abatement, disease and pest prevention.
  • Fires set to dispose of household paper products.
  • Approved firefighter training.
  • Fires set for the prevention of a fire hazard.