Officials urge caution with outdoor burning, fireworks 

Published 12:59 pm Wednesday, July 3, 2024

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High fire danger due to moderate drought conditions

POLK COUNTY—With moderate drought conditions prevailing across much of North Carolina, the N.C. Forest Service is advising against outdoor burning due to the ongoing dry weather. 

The hot and dry conditions persisting across much of the state are leading to a moderate to high fire danger across the Piedmont and Coastal Plain until significant rainfall is received. 

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“Outdoor burning and at-home fireworks are discouraged until your area receives substantial, soaking rain,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler. “Fire danger is high, and fuels can ignite quickly, leading to unattended fires escaping and spreading rapidly. While we understand that fireworks are a major part of Independence Day celebrations and festivities, we encourage folks to attend professional fireworks displays rather than conducting their own.”

Being vigilant and responsible with outdoor fire and fireworks is crucial at all times, as individuals may face law enforcement action if a wildfire is caused by their backyard fire or fireworks. Although there is currently no state-issued burn ban in place, one may be necessary if dry conditions worsen or fail to improve. Residents are advised to continue checking for burn bans or fire restrictions in their area. 

“Anytime we’re experiencing prolonged dry conditions and increased fire danger, conversations about whether to implement a burn ban, when to implement it, and where to implement it are ongoing,” said Greg Hicks, assistant commissioner for the N.C. Forest Service. “These discussions have been ongoing for a while and will continue as we assess conditions on a day-to-day basis.” 

The N.C. Forest Service is actively monitoring conditions, and residents with questions about a specific county can contact their NCFS county ranger’s office, their county fire marshal’s office, or the local fire department to ensure they are not violating any open burning regulations.