Burning debris sparks NC wildfires, perplexing officials

BLACK MOUNTAIN, NC (AP) — State forestry officials say the recent wildfire near Asheville was the result of burning residential debris, and they say it’s hard to get control of the problem.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports figures from the N.C. Forest Service show that of 4,593 fires in North Carolina in 2014, debris burning was listed as the cause in 2,237 of them.

State officials say tighter regulations aren’t necessarily the answer. A forest service law enforcement officer says what’s needed is a greater sense of responsibility from people who start debris fires, and more understanding of the dangers.

The Buncombe County wildfire burned more than 700 acres, destroyed one home and damaged five others.

An N.C. Forest Service permit is required to burn debris if the burning is within 500 feet of woodlands.

Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com

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