Most outdoor open burning will be banned in 54 Georgia counties beginning Thursday.
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division annual moratorium prevents burning of yard and land-clearing debris from May through September.
Georgia prohibits burning household garbage year-round due to the toxic smoke it can generate, according to an EPD news release.
Burning yard waste also releases pollution and nitrogen oxides that contribute to lung and heart disease. Ground level pollution and ozone levels are generally higher in the warmer months when more people are outdoors.
Cookouts, campfires and recreational bonfires are typically allowed, said Macon-Bibb County Fire Prevention Chief Larry Smallwood.
Any agricultural burns must be approved by the EPD, Smallwood said.
Middle Georgia counties covered in the ban include: Bibb, Crawford, Houston, Jones, Jasper, Putnam, Lamar, Monroe, Peach, Pike, Twiggs, Upson, Meriwether and Troup counties.
Anyone with questions can call the Macon-Bibb County Fire Prevention Office at 751-2700 or the EPD West Central District Office at 751-6612.