Sunday - September 22, 2019
Burning ban issued for Eastern North Carolina
Written by Ashton Baysden   
Tuesday, 04 June 2019 13:06

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Forest Service issued a burning ban on Thursday, May 31, due to the persisting dry season and its increased fire risk. The burn ban is in effect in the following  counties: Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Dare, Duplin, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Tyrrell and Washington.

Under North Carolina law, the ban prohibits all open burning and cancels all burning permits for the affected counties. Additionally, no new burning permits will be issued until further notice. Violators will face a $100 fine plus $180 in court fees.

“The dry weather conditions these last few weeks, plus the potential for an increase in human-caused wildfires in the region, makes this ban on open burning necessary,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “During the month of May, there have been 355 wildfires statewide, covering 1,348 acres. This burn ban is a proactive step to protect lives and property by preventing human-caused wildfires.”

Troxler urges people to remain cautious during this dry season by being careful when burning, as fighting fires is not only expensive but also dangerous. Additionally, Troxler urges that people withhold from using drones for crops when there is a fire nearby.

“Drones are really a big hindrance in fighting a forest fire, and they pose a huge hazard for our aircraft operations. Even a tiny drone that hits a helicopter or one of our aerial tankers can cause disaster,” Troxler said. “We ask people to stay away from wildfires with drones. Even beyond that, we need people’s help. There’s not a reliable technology out there to alert the ground or aerial resource if there’s a drone in the area. What we’re asking people to do is, if you witness or hear of a drone usage around a wildfire, please notify the North Carolina Forest Service personnel on the scene of the wildfire, or please ask the individual flying the drone to vacate that airspace.”

Local law enforcement and fire departments are helping the North Carolina Forest Service in enforcing the ban.

The burn ban does not apply to a fire within 100 feet of an occupied dwelling and will remain in effect until further notice.

 
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