FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, JULY 12, 2011
||Brian R. Haines, public information officer
N.C. Forest Service
N.C. Forest Service lifts ban on open burning in 10 eastern counties
Ban remains in effect for all or part of 19 counties
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RALEIGH — The ban on open burning put in place June 22 is canceled for the following counties: Edgecombe, Greene, Harnett, Johnston, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, Pitt, Wayne and Wilson. The cancellation took effect July 12 at 8 a.m., and burn permits may be issued again in these counties.
Recent rainfall has reduced fire danger. However, residents should be careful if they decide to burn pine straw, leaves and other yard debris. High winds coupled with quickly-drying forest fuels can create hazardous burning conditions. State authorities could reinstate the ban on open burning if the drought and increased wildfire activity persists.
The N.C. Forest Service wants to remind people that the ban on open burning remains in effect until further notice for the following counties: Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Dare, Duplin, Hyde, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Sampson, Tyrrell and Washington.
The ban also includes parts of Cumberland and Robeson counties east of Interstate 95.
By North Carolina law, the ban prohibits all open burning in these areas, regardless of whether a permit was issued. The open burning ban means that all burning is prohibited if it is 100 feet or more from an occupied dwelling such as a home or residence.
Many counties are imposing local ordinances prohibiting burning within that 100 feet, so residents should call their local fire marshal before engaging in any burning activities.
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.
People in violation of the burn ban will be assessed a $100 fine plus court costs and are at risk of violating air quality regulations and possible local ordinances. Outdoor burning is also prohibited in areas covered by Code Orange or Code Red air quality forecasts.
The issuance of any new burn permits in the areas affected by the ban has been suspended until the ban is lifted. For more information, contact Brian Haines, public information officer with the N.C. Forest Service, at (919) 857-4828.