Emergency Management Agency Masthead Image

1220 W College St, Murfreesboro, TN 37129 • Phone: (615) 898-7764 • Fax:( 615) 898-7840

Burning Permits

Between October 15 to May 15 every year, state law requires citizens to obtain a permit!

Between October 15 to May 15, every year state law requires citizens to obtain a permit from the Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry before conducting any open burning of wood debris. Permits are free of charge. You must call toll free 1-877-350-2876 or apply online at BurnSafeTN.org to obtain a permit. Days outside of the official burning season do not require a permit however, state regulations must be followed.

Rutherford County Emergency Management encourages you to “LEARN BEFORE YOU BURN"! when it comes to burning household garbage and other items.


In the State of Tennessee and Rutherford County there are items that are ILLEGAL to burn at ANY time !

It is illegal to burn:

  • Tires and any rubber products
  • Vinyl siding and shingles
  • Asphalt shingles and other asphalt roofing materials and demolition debris
  • Building material, construction debris and mobile homes
  • Plywood, oriented strand board and pressure treated wood, including railroad ties >
  • Asbestos-containing materials
  • Metals, Aerosol cans, and food cans
  • Copper wire or electrical wires
  • Any Plastics and other synthetic materials
  • Paper products, cardboard, and newspaper
  • Any Household garbage/trash

It is also illegal to burn any materials that are transported from one site to another for the purpose of burning.Transporting any materials natural or man-made, dumping, and burning on another site or receiving materials to burn is subject to steep fines.

State law allows for a civil penalty of up to $25,000 per day for each day of violation of the Air Quality Act regardless of the size of the burn.

What you Can Burn

You may burn only Leaves, branches, trees, stumps, grass clippings etc.

Between October 15 to May 15, every year state law requires citizens to obtain a permit from the Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry before conducting any open burning of wood debris. Permits are free of charge. You must call toll free 1-877-350-2876 or apply online at BurnSafeTN.org to obtain a permit. Days outside of the official burning season do not require a permit however, state regulations must be followed.

Other Regulations:

  • At least 1 person shall be constantly present at the burn site the entire length of the burn.
  • Permits are good for 24 hours.
  • If burning occur within 100 feet of an occupied building it may occur ONLY if an adult occupant of that structure give written authorization for the burn to occur and has not rescinded authorization in writing.
  • Citizens living within the limits of a city or town are encouraged to check with their government for any local burning restrictions that might apply. 

Recycling and composting are alternatives to open burning recommended by the Department of Environment and Conservation. Household garbage that cannot be recycled should be disposed in a permitted landfill.

Other Links:

County convenience centers and private garbage haulers are options for property owners to appropriately dispose of household trash. 

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Rutherford County Seal