NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is asking sportsmen to follow burn bans throughout the state as concerns about accidental fires due to drought grow.
Officials say they are worried about dry conditions caused by Tennessee’s drought.
“We are requesting that our sportsmen refrain from building campfires on all WMAs, but it is required in counties with burn bans,” said Ed Carter, the executive director of TWRA.
Carter noted that just because a ban is not yet in place in a particular county, hunters should keep in mind the dry conditions. Natural gas or propane grills are cooking alternatives to campfires, he noted.
“While we don’t want anyone to get into trouble we have to warn everyone that criminal penalties could apply for creating a wildfire, and that penalty could include the cost of suppressing it,” he added.
More counties may be added, but the following are already under a burning ban: Claiborne, Sevier, Loudon, Jefferson, Monroe, and Robertson.
Also on Monday, Putnam County officials issued a burn ban that all outside burning not only in the county, but in each of the four cities.
“With the severe drought conditions we are experiencing, we don’t want to put our citizens or firefighters at risk with a fire that could have been prevented,” Putnam County Fire Chief Tom Brown stated. “Not only is the fire itself destructive, but the smoke affects children and the elderly, especially ones with lung diseases like asthma and emphysema.”