Hertford County enacts local burn ban

Published 2:22 pm Wednesday, December 1, 2021

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WINTON – With extremely dry weather leading to an increased danger of wildfires, Hertford County has issued a proclamation that prohibits all bonfires and outdoor rubbish fires.

The proclamation, signed by Hertford County Fire Marshal Chris Smith, becomes effective at 5 pm today (Wednesday, Dec. 1) and will remain in place until local weather conditions indicate that the hazardous period has passed.

This restriction shall extend 100 feet outward from all residential structures. Unlike the state burning ban issued on Monday, only a county’s Fire Marshal has the authority to restrict open burning within a 100-foot area adjacent to a residence.

The Hertford County proclamation does not prohibit outdoor charcoal or gas grills provided precautions are taken to prevent fire from escaping those appliances.

“The recent dry weather, increased winds, and lower humidity have led to an increase in wildfire danger in Hertford County,” the proclamation stated.

The extremely dry weather coupled with the other factors have led to situations requiring multiple agencies and fire departments to control.

“Fire danger within Hertford County remains at extreme levels with little to no chances of rain forecast in the near future. The citizens of Hertford County are urged to do everything possible to minimize the risk of fire during this period,” the proclamation stated.

On Monday, the N.C. Forest Service issued a ban on all open burning and canceled all burning permits statewide 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.

Under North Carolina law, the ban prohibits all open burning, regardless of whether a permit was previously issued.

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.


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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