Georgia's annual ban on outdoor burning, mostly in the northern half of the state, will end at midnight Sept. 30.
The annual restrictions have been in place since May 1. Burn permits can be obtained from the Georgia Forestry Commission beginning Oct. 1.
"The Georgia Environmental Protection Division puts this ban in place to comply with federal clean air regulations," said Alan Dozier, the chief of forest protection for the forestry commission.
"Ozone levels increase to unhealthy levels in summer," he said. "Most types of open burning are restricted during the ban in an effort to manage the summertime surge in ozone levels."
Columbia County is one of 54 counties included in the ban, which also applies to Richmond County.
The ban is under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Division's Air Protection Branch.
The forestry commission operates a burn permit system at (877) OK2-BURN. The system informs callers by county whether they can burn, depending on area conditions.
Residents can also call the forestry commission's Columbia County office at (706) 556-3962 or visit GaTrees.org.
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