Lowndes enforces new burn ordinance - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lowndes enforces new burn ordinance

October 31, 2005

Lowndes - Nell Riggins enjoys a morning walk through the Lochwinn subdivision, but until a few weeks ago, her stroll wasn't so pleasant. "I just couldn't get out and walk because I can't endure the smoke," said Riggins.

Her neighbors could burn any time they wanted, and the neighborhood often looked like one big cloud of dust. "The commissioners were receiving a lot of complaints about neighborhoods staying filled with smoke 365 days a year," said Fire Chief Jim Fielding.

That's why they passed a new burn ordinance that limits the days and amount of time people can burn. "They can only burn on the first and third Saturday of the month and they can burn from daylight until dusk," said Fielding.

The ordinance applies to Lowndes County citizens living in areas designated as R-10 and R-15. "They're all over the county, its what we call dense population," said Fielding.

All citizens living in the affected areas have been mailed a copy of the new ordinance and so far, violators have only been giving warnings. But starting tomorrow, the grace period is over.

Those caught burning on days other than the first and third Saturday of the month, or after dark, could face a steep fine, and even jail time. "In magistrate court, we can fine up to $1,000 and 60 days in jail," said Fielding.

Riggins says the air is somewhat cleaner since the ordinance took effect. "It has improved some but there is still some burning," said Riggins.

And now that the warning period is over, hopefully all of her neighbors will help enforce the new policy, and everyone can breathe a little easier.

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