• 55°

Burning ban still in effect in Rowan County

N.C. Forest Service shieldRALEIGHFire experts with the N.C. Forest Service say recent rains have helped to reduce fire danger in the North Carolina mountains, prompting the agency to lift the ban on open burning for 32 counties effective at 5 p.m. today.

However, the Piedmont received significantly less rain and fire experts are less comfortable with fuel conditions there, so the burn ban will remain in effect for the following 15 counties: Rowan, Anson, Caswell, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Montgomery, Randolph, Richmond, Rockingham, Stanly, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin.

The burn ban has been lifted in these counties: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Union, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey.

“Despite the recent rain, the N.C. Forest Service has noted that not all areas received the soaking rain needed to fully mitigate fuel conditions,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “They would like some additional time to assess fire conditions in the Piedmont counties currently under the ban.”

The N.C. Forest Service continues to evaluate the need for the ban daily, Troxler said.

No new burn permits will be issued in the 15 Piedmont counties until the ban is lifted. In counties where the ban has been lifted, people wanting to burn debris will need to reapply for a permit. For more information, contact Brian Haines, public information officer with the N.C. Forest Service, at 919-857-4828.

Here is more information about the ban on open burning and other precautions in place:

  • The ban prohibits all open burning, regardless of whether a permit was issued. All burning is prohibited if it is 100 feet or more from an occupied dwelling.
  • Many counties across the state are imposing their own local ordinances prohibiting burning within that 100 feet, so residents should call their local fire marshal before engaging in any burning activities.
  • People in violation of the ban will be assessed a $100 fine and risk violating air quality regulations and local ordinances. Outdoor burning is also prohibited in areas covered by Code Orange or Code Red air quality forecasts.
  • Open burning includes burning leaves, branches and other plant material. In all cases, it is illegal to burn trash, lumber, tires, newspapers, plastics or other non-vegetative materials.
  • The N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation is not permitting campfires and open cooking fires at any of its parks west of Interstate 95. South Mountains State Park remains closed due to wildfire activity. Chimney Rock State Park has reopened except for the Rumbling Bald climbing access. Before visiting, check park conditions at www.ncparks.gov/.
  • The U.S. Forest Service is not allowing campfires anywhere in the backcountry on federal park land, even for cooking. Campers will have to use camp stoves for cooking in the backcountry. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc.
  • The National Park Service and Appalachian Trail Conservancy also have imposed fire restrictions along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail from U.S. Route 33 in Shenandoah National Park to the southern terminus at Springer Mountain, Georgia. These fire restrictions include the NPS lands around McAfee Knob and Tinker Cliffs in Virginia. The A.T. is currently closed from Dicks Creek Gap/U.S. 76 in Georgia to the Nantahala River/U.S. 19/U.S. 74 in North Carolina. Up-to-date information can be found at www.appalachiantrail.org/trailupdates.

The burn ban was issued for North Carolina’s 25 westernmost counties on Nov. 7. An additional 22 counties were added Nov. 21 as drought conditions worsened in the mountains and spread into the Piedmont. Wildfires have burned more than 73,000 acres in Western North Carolina this fall.

Comments

Education

RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest

Local

Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction

Business

Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured

Education

Profoundly gifted: Salisbury boy finishing high school, associates degree at 12

Local

Cheerwine Festival will stick to Main Street, stay away from new park in September

Lifestyle

Celebrating Rowan County’s early cabinetmakers

Education

Service Above Self announces youth challenge winners

Business

Economic Development Commission creates search tool for people seeking Rowan County jobs

Columns

Amy-Lynn Albertson: Arts and Ag Farm Tour set for June 5

High School

High school baseball: Mustangs top Falcons on strength of hurlers

Business

Biz Roundup: Application process now open for Rowan Chamber’s 29th Leadership Rowan class

Sports

Keith Mitchell leads McIlroy, Woodland by 2 at Quail Hollow

Nation/World

States scale back vaccine orders as interest in shots wanes

Nation/World

Major US pipeline halts operations after ransomware attack

News

NC budget dance slowed as GOP leaders differ on bottom line

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting

Coronavirus

People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools brings Skills Rowan competition back to its roots

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time