Statewide burn ban issued

Published 9:18 am Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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Due to increased fire risk, the N.C. Forest Service has issued a ban on all open burning and has canceled all burning permits statewide effective at 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 29 until further notice.

Open burning includes burning leaves, branches or other plant material. In all cases, burning trash, lumber, tires, newspapers, plastics or other nonvegetative material is illegal.

“It is fall wildfire season in North Carolina, and we are seeing wildfire activity increase due to dry conditions,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “With these ongoing conditions, a statewide burn ban is necessary to reduce the risk of fires starting and spreading quickly. Our top priority is always to protect lives, property and forestland across the state.”

Wildfires are popping up all across the state. Preliminary reports from the North Carolina Forest Service show that 50 wildfires burned 310.85 acres on private and state-owned land in the state on Sunday, Nov. 28. Two of those wildfires occurred within minutes of each other on Sunday afternoon near Murfreesboro.

Under North Carolina law, the ban prohibits all open burning in the affected counties, regardless of whether a permit was previously issued. The issuance of any new permits has also been suspended until the ban is lifted.

Anyone violating the burn ban faces a $100 fine plus $183 court costs. Any person responsible for setting a fire may be liable for any expenses related to extinguishing the fire.

Local fire departments and law enforcement officers are assisting the N.C. Forest Service in enforcing the burn ban.

The N.C. Forest Service will continue to monitor conditions. Residents with questions regarding a specific county can contact their N.C. Forest Service county ranger or their county fire marshal’s office. To report a wildfire call 9-1-1.