Due to the prolonged drought and a breakout of area wildfires, Dalton, Whitfield County and Murray County are under a burn ban that includes no outdoor fires until further notice.
No outdoor fires of any kind are permitted except charcoal grills and other outdoor cooking .Grills are exempt from the ban, but firepits, campfires and other outdoor fires are not.
No burn permits are being issued, and it is illegal to burn without a permit.
"Obviously, with all of the fires around us, it doesn't take much to light things up right now," said Dalton Fire Chief Bruce Satterfield. "The fuels are very dry. There's little humidity. All it takes is for somebody to be burning their leaves and just an ember get loose and igniting something. It it gets into somebody's gutter, that could lead to a structure fire."
The Georgia Forestry Commission and other agencies have battled dozens of fires across north Georgia over the past few weeks, including one on Rocky Face Ridge and several in the Cohutta Wilderness area.
"We have great concerns about Mount Sinai, Dug Gap Mountain and people's homes in those areas," Satterfield said. "We have spoken to residents there, and they are not using their firepits and ...