Burn ban issued in NC as hazardous forest fire conditions persist

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The state Forest Service has issued a burn ban across North Carolina due to hazardous forest fire conditions.

The ban, effective at 5 p.m. Monday, prohibits opening burning in all of North Carolina’s counties regardless of whether a permit was previously issued.

The ban comes as a fire has burned more than 500 acres at Pilot Mountain.

“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.”

The issuance of any new permits has also been suspended until the ban is lifted, the Forest Service said.

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.

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore says this ban also applies to beach fires. The fire ban will be lifted along the Seashore when conditions improve.

The Forest Service released some frequently asked questions to help North Carolinians during the ban:

Q: What is open burning?
A: 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.

Q: May I still use my grill or barbecue?
A: Yes, if no other local ordinances prohibit their use.

Q: How should I report a wildfire?
A: Call 911 to report a wildfire.

Q: How should I report a person who intentionally starts a wildfire?
A: Call 911 to report a wildfire.

Q: My local fire marshal has also issued a burn ban for my county. What does this mean?
A: The burn ban issued by the N.C. Forest service does not apply to a fire within 100 feet of an occupied dwelling. Local government agencies have jurisdiction over open burning within 100 feet of an occupied dwelling. The N.C. Forest Service has advised county fire marshals of the burning ban and has asked for their consideration of also implementing a burning ban. If a fire within a 100-foot area of a dwelling escapes containment, a North Carolina forest ranger may take reasonable steps to extinguish or control it. The person responsible for setting the fire may be liable for any expenses related to extinguishing the fire.

Q: Are there other instances which impact open burning?
A: Local ordinances and air quality regulations may impact open burning. For instance, outdoor burning is prohibited in areas covered by Code Orange or Code Red air quality forecasts. Learn more about air quality forecasts here.

Q: Can I have a campfire when I go camping?
A: Campfires would be considered open burning and are not exempt from the burn ban. During a burn ban, portable gas stoves or grills are alternate methods for cooking food while camping.

Q: What can I do to protect my house against the risk of wildfire?
A: Learn about wildfire risk assessments and preparedness and prevention plans on the N.C. Forest Service website.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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