Watch your ash – it can cause fires

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 28, 2011

Rowan County Forest Ranger David Poole warns about “a string of wood heater and fireplace ashes disposal fires in the past couple of weeks.
“With the dry and windy conditions that are predicted to take place today and Saturday,” he reminds people to dispose of ashes properly.
The North Carolina Division of Forest Resources (NCDFR) says every winter, wood heater and fireplace ashes are responsible for many woods fires and house fires – fires that often start several days after the ashes have been thrown out.
Keep in mind that a bucket of ashes can hold hot embers for several days, so double- check the ashes before throwing them away to make sure they will not start a fire.
Here are some tips on ash disposal to help prevent wildfires and house fires.
• DO throw ashes away in a metal container or bury them in mineral soil in your garden (organic soils, such as peat, can catch fire).
• DON’T put ashes in a paper bag, box or any other flammable container, and NEVER store ashes in your garage or on your deck or in a wooded area.
For more information on reducing fire risk in your home, contact your local fire department.
For further information on protecting your home from wildfire, contact your local N.C. Forest Service office at 704-216-8993.