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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, AUG. 8, 2011

CONTACT: Brian R. Haines, public information officer
N.C. Forest Service
(919) 857-4828 or (919) 218-9728

Forest Service lifts burn ban in eastern N.C.

RALEIGH — Recent rains over the southeastern part of the state have allowed the North Carolina Forest Service to lift its ban on open burning for the following counties: Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Dare, Duplin, Hyde, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, Tyrrell and Washington. The ban will be lifted Monday, Aug. 8, at 5 p.m.

“While recent rainfall has reduced fire danger, the state is still facing drought conditions,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “If the drought continues and there is an increase in the number of wildfires, the ban on open burning could be reinstated.”

Forest Service authorities are issuing burning permits again. If people are going to burn, they should take precautions because fires can still escape, causing catastrophic disasters.

Based on North Carolina’s open burning laws, the Forest Service offers these tips to landowners:

  • Make sure you have an approved burning permit. You can obtain a burning permit at any N.C. Forest Service office, a county-approved burning permit agent, or online at http://ncforestservice.gov.
  • Check with your county fire marshal’s office for local laws on burning debris. Some communities allow burning only during specified hours; others forbid it entirely.
  • Check the weather. Don’t burn if conditions are dry or windy.
  • Consider alternatives to burning. Some yard debris such as leaves and grass may be more valuable if composted.
  • Only burn natural vegetation from your property. Burning household trash or any other man-made materials is illegal.
  • Trash should be hauled away to a convenience center.
  • Plan burning for the late afternoon when conditions are typically less windy and more humid.
  • If you must burn, be prepared. Use a shovel or hoe to clear a perimeter around the area around where you plan to burn.
  • Keep fire tools ready. To control the fire, you will need a hose, bucket, a steel rake and a shovel for tossing dirt on the fire.
  • Never use flammable liquids such as kerosene, gasoline or diesel fuel to speed debris burning.
  • Stay with your fire until it is completely out. In North Carolina, human carelessness leads to more wildfires than any other cause. In fact, debris burning is the No. 1 cause of wildfires in North Carolina.

For more information, contact Brian R. Haines, public information officer with the N.C. Forest Service, (919) 857-4828, or your county ranger.

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NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3005; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture

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