Wilmington Fire Department discusses fire safety as drought conditions worsen

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington is currently experiencing its driest November since 2007, with all of the Cape Fear under dry or moderate drought conditions.

With no big chances of rain in sight, Wendy Giannini-King with the Wilmington Fire Department says it’s more important than ever to use precautions when burning outside.

“Our front yards, back yards, the areas around our decks and balconies are all really ripe for fire right now,” Giannini-King said.

Giannini-King reminds Wilmington residents that outdoor burns aren’t allowed any time of year within city limits, and that an illegal burn elsewhere can still cause a fire risk down the road.

“If a tiny ember moves from someone’s illegal outdoor fire pit into your yard, your house is in jeopardy,” Giannini-King said. “Your belongings are in jeopardy.”

Although the danger is high right now for quick-spreading fires, Giannini-King says there are steps you can take to lessen the risk to your home.

“Keep all of the items that could combust, the leaves the pine straw, not right up next to your house just in case an ember does land,” Giannini-King said. “You’d want those to be out in the yard.”

Giannini-King points out it’s not just outdoor burns that can cause destructive fires this time of year.

With the holiday season upon us, it’s also important to remember the dangers that can come with holiday decorations.

“Water your tree, because dry conditions will occur if we’re not careful with our Christmas trees inside, too, right? Unplug your lights before you go to bed,” Giannini-King said. “Don’t leave any extra risk out there. Reduce it all.”

With the extremely dry conditions and growing risk for quick-spreading fires, Pender, Columbus and Brunswick Counties have all issues burn bans. 

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