Burn ban issued for 26 NC counties due to fire risk
RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — Due to increased fire risk, N.C. Forest Service has issued a ban on all open burning and has canceled all burning permits for the following North Carolina counties: Anson, Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Greene, Harnett, Hoke, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, and Wayne.
The burning ban goes into effect at noon and will remain in effect until further notice.
“Our state is getting drier and hotter, and wildfires like those conditions,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “These conditions coming during spring wildfire season when wildfire activity and fire risks are already elevated, make this burn ban necessary to protect life and property in North Carolina.”
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.
Frank Meyer, New Hanover County Fire Rescue Deputy Chief of Support Services and Fire Marshal, reminds people who are planning cookouts for the holiday weekend to take extra precautions.
“If you’re using fire to cook food whether if it’s on a gas grill or charcoal grill, it is perfectly acceptable to do that during the burn ban,” Meyer said. “What we do ask, typically when people finish cooking on a charcoal grill, they want to empty the charcoal out. Please make sure that charcoal is thoroughly extinguished before you take them out, whether you soak them in water or leave them in the grill until they’ve completely cooled down.”
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.