ALBANY, GA (WALB) - With spring approaching more people are outside burning brush.
But firefighters are urging residents to take caution before igniting controlled burns.
Albany Fire Department's Assistant Chief of Fire Prevention, Eugene Anderson, said to have a legal burn pile you must be farther than 50 feet from any structure, or 15 feet from a structure if a metal drum is used.
And before someone can even start a fire, it is crucial to get a forestry permit for controlled burns.
If you don't have a permit, you can be fined up to $1,000 and a year of imprisonment.
And of course, you must burn natural materials like tree limbs, leaves and pine needles.
Burning household garbage is illegal.
A maximum fine you can face is up to $25,000 per day.
"Carelessness is the biggest problem that we incur. People just really don't think in the terms of wind blowing," said Anderson.
You are able to burn between 8 a.m. and before dark.
Someone must be present with a garden hose or extinguisher the entire time while burning.