Press Releases

State Prohibits Open-Air Burning for 7 Counties, More Expected

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture; June 29, 2012:  

NASHVILLE – State Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson has issued a burn ban for Cheatham, Dickson, Gibson, Giles, Marshall, Maury and Sumner counties. The burn ban is effective immediately and will remain in place until further notice.

The ban applies to all open-air burning including leaf and woody debris and construction burning, campfires, outdoor grills and other fire activity outside of municipalities where local ordinances apply.

Under state law, the commissioner of agriculture, in consultation with the state forester, has the authority to issue burn bans at the request of county mayors under certain weather conditions. Requests from county mayors for a burn ban are considered in consultation with the state forester based on a number of factors including weather, climate, fire danger, fire occurrence and resource availability.

“We’re working with local officials to take action when requested and where appropriate to reduce the risk to citizens, property and emergency workers,” Johnson said. “With the extremely dry conditions and little prospect for rain anytime soon, we want to encourage the public to use good judgment and to avoid situations that can cause fire, even in areas not covered under a burn ban.”

A violation of a Commissioner of Agriculture Burn Ban is considered reckless burning and is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor which carries a fine of $2,500 and/or up to 11 months 29 days in jail.

The burn ban does not prohibit the use of fireworks. However, citizens should check for local restrictions and are encouraged to attend public displays as an alternative to shooting fireworks themselves for the Fourth of July holiday.

In areas not under a burn ban, the public is asked to refrain from debris burning until significant precipitation is received and to avoid other activities that could cause fire.

State and local firefighters are seeing an increase in fire activity statewide. Major causes include sparks from field equipment and vehicles, escaped debris burns, discarded cigarettes, lightening, campfires, arson and fireworks. Citizens can help support their local fire departments by checking for and following local burn restrictions and quickly reporting any wildfire.

Counties currently under a burn ban, additional fire safety tips and wildfire information can be found on the TDA Division of Forestry’s wildfire prevention website at

Note: A press release from TDA will not necessarily be released for each new county added to the list of the Commissioner of Agriculture Burn Bans. Please check for updated information.

Press Releases

Maggart Sets New Fundraising Benchmark

Press Release from Rep. Debra Maggart, R-Hendersonville; Jan. 19, 2012:

Sumner Representative and Chairman of the House GOP Caucus Establishes New Fundraising Standard for Sumner County

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn.– With the release of her financial disclosure report today, Representative Debra Maggart (R-Hendersonville) set a new benchmark for fundraising at the State House level in Sumner County.

Documents made available today reveal Maggart has amassed over $100,000 in her campaign account – more funds than any previous Republican individual who has served Sumner County in the Tennessee House of Representatives. The total comes from both her personal campaign account and her leadership PAC, known as MOMPAC.

“I am humbled by the incredible level of support and trust I have received from our community,” stated Maggart, who also serves as the Chairman of the House Republican Caucus. “Serving the good people of Sumner County has been an honor and I know this scope of financial support is rare for a legislator, especially in tough economic times as these. I am grateful for the trust the voters of Sumner County have shown in my abilities as their Representative.”

As the Chair of the House Republican Caucus, Maggart has played an influential role in leading the state’s Republican Majority in the General Assembly. Under her leadership, the Majority has balanced the State budget and cut over $1 billion dollars in wasteful government spending, all while protecting Tennessee’s status as a no income tax State.

Maggart concluded, “While I am privileged to have received this level of investment, I will not stop fighting for the principles that have made our community strong. I will continue to always put Sumner County first in my legislative priorities. As a Representative, my first job is to always listen and then serve the will of my constituents; that will never change.”

At the conclusion of the most recent financial reporting period, Maggart’s personal campaign account totaled over $96,000. In her PAC, the total stands at $9,533.74. Together, the total equals a record-setting amount for any Republican State House candidate in the 45th District.