Burning ban in effect

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 22, 2007

North Carolina remains in the grip of abnormally dry weather.

On Monday, William G. Ross Jr., Secretary of the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, placed all of North Carolina under a burning ban. Citizens statewide face stiff fines if found in violation of this order.

The statewide ban also means no burning permits will be issued. To those who received a burning permit prior to Monday’s directive from Secretary Ross, that permit is now revoked.

Forest Service officials in each Roanoke-Chowan area county urged the public to follow the statewide burning ban. The dry conditions coupled with the fall foliage season makes wildfires even more of a threat.

Drought conditions are listed in every North Carolina county.

According to statewide monitors, the Roanoke-Chowan area is listed in a severe drought. Others, especially in the central part of the state as well as the mountain region, are listed in the extreme drought range.

The state’s drought index monitor lists the Roanoke-Chowan area in the 601-800 range, one associated with severe drought and increased wildfire occurrence.

Those found in violation of the burning ban face a $220 fine.

The burning ban remains in effect until lifted by an order from Secretary Ross.