Polk issues own burn ban

Published 12:38 pm Thursday, December 2, 2021

Fines can be issued for anyone in violation

POLK COUNTY—As wildfires continue to burn across the state, Polk County has joined the state in issuing a burn ban. 

Polk County Emergency Management Director and Fire Marshal Bobby Arledge issued the county-wide burn ban on Tuesday, following the state issuing a state-wide burn ban this week. 

“Due to dangerous fire conditions an outdoor burn ban is in effect for Polk County as of November 30, 2021 at 12 p.m.,” the fire marshal’s office said in a press release. “Under the authority of the Polk County Emergency Operations plan and fire prevention plan all outdoor burning within 100 feet of a structure is prohibited.” 

Polk County issued the ban in conjunction with the statewide burn ban issued by the North Carolina Forest Service, which will remain in effect until further notice. 

Columbus fire officials said people can be held liable if they burn and can also be issued fines during a burn ban. People are encouraged to wait until there is a soaking rain before burning outdoors. 

The state’s burn ban was issued following a wildfire on Pilot Mountain that at one point had burned more than 1,000 acres. The North Carolina Forest Service said the fire was caused by a campfire in an unauthorized area and law enforcement are trying to find the person or people responsible. The fire by mid-week was 80 percent contained with a protected barrier and no homes or structures were being threatened or were likely to be threatened. 

Also this week a wildfire in McDowell County on Pogue Mountain had grown to more than 300 acres. The area has rough terrain and caused fire officials to struggle containing it, but there was no immediate threat to homes as of earlier this week. 

The burn bans will be in effect until conditions improve. Dry and windy conditions have caused the increased fire risks over the last couple of weeks. 

Conditions will remain dry at least through the weekend. There are chances of rain on Monday, then again Wednesday through next weekend. 

Anyone with questions about the local burn ban can contact the Polk County Fire Marshal’s Office at 828-894-6342.