Macon-Bibb leaders warn against burning Irma debris

Debris burning

One week after the storm hit, Macon-Bibb Solid Waste Department says it will take a while to clean up the mess that Irma left behind.

The Director of Solid Waste says the city needs help getting rid of debris at your home, but they're asking you not to burn it away.

“Irma she had a really big impact on us. I don't think we've expected all these trees to be down,” said Macon-Bibb Fire Prevention Chief Brenda Thomas.

It's a sign of what we've been through, and a look at all the work we have left.

“People are now starting to put debris out on the curb for our collection,” said Kevin Barkley, Director of Macon-Bibb Solid Waste Department. “At this time we're estimating, just the number of large trees down and the streets that were closed, somewhere around 35,000 to 50,000 cubic yards of material.”

Barkley says it will take weeks to clear Macon-Bibb's streets.

Macon Bibb Fire Prevention Director Chief Brenda Thomas says they're asking you not to take matters into your own hands.

“I've had to stop by several homes because people thought it was okay to burn,” said Thomas.

However, it's not okay to burn the debris in your yard.

Bibb County is one of 54 counties in Georgia that's still under a summer burn advisory, according to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

“It'll go all the way up until September 30th,” said Thomas.

Thomas says once the ban is lifted, aside from having a burn permit, you must meet several requirements to burn debris at home.

“You can only burn small piles... you have to be 25 feet away from your structure. You need to have a water source out at all times and you should never leave it unattended. It must be out before dark.”

Bibb, Monroe, Houston, Twiggs, Jones, and Peach Counties are all under burn advisories until September 30th.

Chief Brenda Thomas says if you are caught burning debris in your yard, you could face a fine from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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