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City approves first reading of updated fire ordinance

Residents in the City of Covington wanting to burn leaves or other yard debris will be required to get a permit through the Covington Fire Department if the Covington City Council approves a change in the current ordinance next month.

The Covington City Council approved the first reading on the change in the city’s fire ordinance after Covington Fire Department (CFD) Deputy Chief and City of Covington Fire Marshall Tony Smith noticed yard waste was not specifically listed in the ordinance as needing a permit.

 Councilman Josh McKelvey was the only opposing vote to the ordinance change.

According to the proposed ordinance, yard waste is defined as limited yard debris, which includes leaves, pine straw and limbs no more than six inches in diameter.

Smith said residents can request a burn permit by either calling or visiting CFD at 2101 Pace St. or 770-385-2100.

Smith said the fire department checks with the Georgia Forestry Commission daily to make sure conditions are appropriate before approving any burn permits.

The change in the ordinance is nothing new, he said. Residents have been requesting permits for yard waste previously, but it was not specifically outline in the ordinance. Other changes in the ordinance were made to clean up verbiage.

Burn permits are free of charge, Smith said.

The updated ordinance will go before the Covington City Council for a second reading before going into effect.