Oak Island officials remind residents of bonfire rules as weather warms into new year

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Anyone looking to make a bonfire heading into the new year needs to follow a few rules (Photo: Oak Island Police Department)

OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — As the weather warms up into the start of 2023, you may be tempted to head to the beach for a bonfire. But Oak Island officials are reminding you about safety rules regarding the outdoor activity.

The Oak Island Fire Department says there have been over 160 Beach Bonfire Permit applications in the last 7 days, with over 100 of those coming in the last 24 hours alone. They’re expecting many more to come in as we get closer to New Year’s Eve and Day.

But there are a few things they want people to keep in mind:

1. Bonfires should be manageable by a single person, about 4ft. x 4ft. in size or smaller (we know this size may not be “what you call a bonfire in your neck of the woods” but for the sake of discussing safety on our beaches, that is what we are referring to)

2. All materials burned must be natural, untreated wood (NO lumber or manufactured products, as well as gasoline, diesel, tires, or other fuels used for the burn)

3. Fires must be extinguished if winds exceed 15 MPH (even if the windspeed was lower when your application was submitted)

4. There must be a person with a means of contacting 9-1-1 at the bonfire site at all times

5. There must be a way to extinguish the bonfire at all times; such as an “ABC Type II” fire extinguisher, a bucket of water, a shovel to cover the fire with sand, or other sufficient device.

6. All burned materials must be completely extinguished and REMOVED from the beach area after the burn – DO NOT simply cover the fire to extinguish it, as this can still smolder and seriously injure the feet of any person or animal who walks across the burn site

7. No additional debris / trash should be left on the beach (please remember to leave the beach cleaner than you found it)

If you ever have questions or concerns, you can always contact the Fire Department directly by calling 910-278-1000.

For a complete list of the rules, information, and Beach Bonfire Permit applications, just visit the Town Website HERE.

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