The summer burn ban mandated by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division begins May 1 and runs through Sept. 30 for 54 counties in Georgia, including Fulton County, which includes Alpharetta and Milton.

According to GEPD information, during the summer months, the ozone in the air can reach unhealthy levels. The EPD has identified open burning as a significant contributor to the pollutants that form ozone, which is why open burning in Atlanta and the surrounding areas must be restricted during the summer.

The ban prohibits citizens and businesses from burning yard and land-clearing debris in addition to the year-round state ban on the burning of household garbage; however, a few exceptions include:

  • Agricultural burning exemption;

  • Campfires or barbecues;

  • Firefighting training exemption, provided an appropriate permit is issued;

  • Operation of open flame equipment exemption; and

  • Explosive disposal in accordance with the U.S. Department of Labor Safety Regulations.

In the city of Milton, burning in non-gricultural areas is always prohibited, as is the burning of treated wood, garbage, construction debris and other nonvegetative items, according to a city of Milton press release. The only exceptions are small fires for immediate consumption of food and small campfires.

For the agricultural areas of the city of Milton, after May 1:

  • Open burning is allowed for production or harvesting crops on lots of 5 acres or less.

  • For those with lots spanningmore than 5 acres, open burning is allowed for existing, expanded or new agricultural operations.

The city's exceptions may be rescinded if there is a high fire danger rating on any given day, the press release said.