Tennessee officials said they’ve received questions about the use of grills and how grill use may be affected by burn bans.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has issued a proclamation declaring a regional ban on burning in 51 counties, including Anderson and Roane counties, in response to the ongoing drought and destructive wildfires throughout Middle and East Tennessee.
That regional burn ban applies to open-air burning and includes a prohibition of campfires and burning of brush, vegetation, and construction debris, said Corinne Gould, assistant commissioner for public affairs in the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.
“Generally, the burn ban does not apply to cooking grills and other similar lighted devices that are well-established in a confined, protected area away from woodlands,” Gould said.
“Please keep in mind that the disposal of hot grill ashes can be a fire hazard,” Gould said. “In all cases, grill ashes should be allowed to completely cool or be saturated with water before disposal.
“Common sense is the best defense. And when in doubt, do without.”
The state’s clarification is consistent with what Oak Ridge officials said on Tuesday. They said grilling is okay as long as people stay with the grill and make sure the flame is out or the gas is off when they’re done. It doesn’t matter if the grill is charcoal, gas, or propane, city officials said.
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