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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — State officials are reminding homeowners and contractors that it is illegal to burn logs, branches and other debris resulting from tornadoes that ripped through North Carolina over the weekend.

Sheila Holman of the NC Division of Air Quality says while officials sympathize with the plight of those who suffered storm damage, they don’t want people to create more problems by burning debris.

Homeowners can burn yard trimmings if allowed under local ordinances, there’s no public pickup and it doesn’t cause a public nuisance. Landowners may be allowed to burn vegetation to clear land or clean up storm debris, but they should check with the nearest division office. People seeking to burn also may need permits from the Division of Forest Resources.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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