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Fire pit reignites on Bald Mountain Trail

?RICHFIELD — Authorities say a homeowner failed to fully extinguish a fire in a pit Sunday night and it reignited Monday, causing a grass fire that spread to a nearby structure.

Because of very dry conditions, the N.C. Forest Service is urging people not to burn outdoors. Rowan County and much of the state are in a moderate drought.

The fire occurred in a heavily wooded area on Bald Mountain Trail, off Bringle Ferry Road in eastern Rowan.

Forest Ranger David Poole said property owner Shane Frick built a blaze in a fire pit Sunday night, and it reignited Monday just after 1 p.m.

Firefighters arrived within seven minutes of a 911 call made about 1:10 p.m. The grass fire was upgraded to a structure fire when the flames spread to a cabin on Frick’s property, causing damage to the exterior.

Firefighters doused a large area near the fire pit to ensure the fire was extinguished. Poole issued Frick a warning ticket for not fully extinguishing the fire Sunday.

“The homeowner thought the fire was extinguished,” Poole said. “He was awakened by neighbors knocking on the door.”

Frick declined to comment.
Poole cautioned people to be careful when burning leaves, trash or other items because of dry conditions.

Rowan is one of 54 counties currently under moderate drought conditions. The county is not, under a burning ban but the Forest Service is urging residents to be avoid burning debris until the state gets significant rain.

In November, there were 600 wildfires across the state. Debris burning is the No. 1 cause of wildfires in the state, the N.C. Forest Service said.

Here are some tips from the agency:

• Check the weather. Don’t burn on dry, windy days.

• Some yard debris, such as leaves and grass, may be more valuable if composted.

• Burn natural vegetation only since burning household trash or man-made materials is illegal. Trash should be taken to a convenience center.

• For fire control, have a hose, bucket, steel rake and shovel for tossing dirt on the fire.

• Never use flammable liquid, such as kerosene, gasoline or diesel fuel to speed the burning.

• Stay with the fire until it is completely out.

• Never dump hot ashes or coals into a wooded area. Instead, douse burning charcoal or campfires thoroughly with water; stir the coals and soak them again.

For more information about preventing wildfires and property loss, log on to http://ncforestservice.gov. Click on fire control and prevention.

On Monday, firefighters from the Gold Hill, Liberty, Pooletown and Healing Springs departments responded along with Forest Service agents from Rowan and Davidson counties and the Rowan County Rescue Squad.

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