City of Ellijay Outdoor Burning Guidelines


  1. Contact the Ellijay Fire Department prior to any outdoor burning for approval at 706-635-7430 (option 2).  

  2. The Fire Department may prohibit any or all outdoor fires when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous.

  3. No burning is permitted when there is fog, rain, or cloud bases that are diffused, or ill defined, or for at least one (1) day following the passage of a cold front.

  4. No burning is permitted during an air pollution episode,* such as an air pollution alert / warning / emergency declared by proper authorities.

The Fire Marshal and the personnel assigned to the Ellijay Fire Department have the authority to summarily extinguish any open burning which is in violation of any of the provisions of these guidelines, or which constitutes an immediate threat to life and property.


Rules for burning on one's own property

(Permit required)

  • Burning shall be during daylight hours only!

  • Burning shall be of natural fallen vegetation, such as limbs, leaves, twigs, etc.

  • Burning shall be in small piles, maximum size is 6 feet by 6 feet.

  • The burn pile shall be at least 50 feet from any structure or wooden fence.

  • The burn pile shall be constantly attended and shall have a water source that will reach the burn pile (such as a garden hose or fire extinguisher or both).

  • The burn pile shall be completely out before dusk!

Burning restrictions


  • No burning when winds exceed 15 miles per hour.

  • No burning when it is overcast, raining, or foggy, burn only on clear days with no cloud cover. An overcast condition causes the smoke to remain close to the ground and this presents a hazard.

  • No burning of household garbage, grass clippings, construction material or other similar made material (only natural fallen yard vegetation/debris).

  • No burning is allowed when the Fire Marshal's office or a representative from the Ellijay Fire Department deems the burning is offensive to others or poses a health risk to people in the area.

* An air pollution episode occurs when the air contaminate concentrating in an area is great enough to cause danger to public health.