(AP) – As drought dries up forests across the South and with no sign of coming rain that might help put out dozens of major wildfires, the Tennessee Valley Authority has issued a burn ban on its public lands in seven states.
The TVA on Tuesday said the ban applies to anything that might produce an open flame, from campfires to smoking cigarettes. It’s even prohibited to park a car off-road where a hot tailpipe might light up dry grass or leaves.
The rules apply across Tennessee and in parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia.
Meanwhile, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has banned outdoor burning in more than half the state’s counties through December 15. Details can be found at the website “burnsafetn.org” http://burnsafetn.org/ .
The Tennessee Division of Forestry is currently fighting 67 wildfires over about 16,000 acres.
The following is a release from the TVA:
TVA Issues Burn Ban on All Its Public Lands in Tennessee Valley
To help ensure public safety during the continuing dry conditions, the Tennessee Valley Authority is issuing a burn ban on all public lands, recreation areas and facility reservations it manages across its seven-state service area in the Tennessee Valley.
Until further notice, all open flames are prohibited – including campfires, barbeques, smoking or any other flame producing activity — as well as vehicle parking on non-paved or gravel surfaces.
In addition, in locations where fire danger is extreme, TVA is temporarily closing public access to affected recreation areas and facility reservations. Gates and signs will be in place to block access.
For your safety, do not cross any gates or barriers.
The public is encouraged to report any violations to the TVA Police at 855-476-2489. Any fires should be reported immediately to 9-1-1 or your local fire department.
For more information about TVA and its 83-year mission of service to the Tennessee Valley, click here.