N.C. burning ban lifted

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

RALEIGH ó Recent rains across the state have allowed the N.C. Division of Forest Resources to lift its ban on open burning across the state.
The ban on open burning, which was put in place statewide on Thursday, is cancelled effective at noon today. Officials with the Division of Forest Resources are issuing burning permits again.
Recent rainfall has reduced fire danger. However, residents should be careful if they decide to burn pine straw, leaves and other yard debris.
During spring fire season, high winds coupled with quickly-drying forest fuels can create hazardous burning conditions.
State officials could reinstate the ban on open burning if the drought and increased wildfire activity persists. North Carolina has had an above average number of wildfires this year. The state has experienced more than 1,981 fires statewide this year. Those fires have burned 20,453 acres.
People who intend to conduct open burning need to adhere to the following tips:
– Make sure you have an approved burning permit. You can obtain a burning permit at any Division of Forest Resources’ office, a county-approved burning permit agent, or online at www.dfr. state.nc.us.
– Check with your county fire marshals office for local laws on burning debris. Some communities allow burning only during specified hours; others forbid it entirely.
– Check the weather. Don’t burn if conditions are dry or windy.
– Consider alternatives to burning. Some yard debris such as leaves and grass may be more valuable if composted.
– Only burn natural vegetation from your property. Burning household trash or any other man-made materials is illegal.
– Trash should be hauled away to a convenience center.
– Plan burning for the late afternoon when conditions are typically less windy and more humid.
– If you must burn, be prepared. Use a shovel or hoe to clear a perimeter around the area around you plan to burn.
– Keep fire tools ready. To control the fire, you will need a hose, bucket, a steel rake and a shovel for tossing dirt on the fire.
– Never use flammable liquids such as kerosene, gasoline or diesel fuel to speed burning.
– Stay with your fire until it is completely out. In North Carolina, human carelessness leads to more wildfires than any other cause.