Burn Ban Lifted; State Wants To Fight Fire With Fire

State officials plan to temporarily lift the ban on open burning to allow people time to burn off forest debris that can fuel wildfires.

North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Bill Ross is scheduled to lift the ban Wednesday at 5 p.m.

The agency said recent rains provided enough precipitation to make open burning safe. Ross said burning can help reduce built-up forest vegetation that could lead to larger and more intense fires later in the year.

Officials first imposed the burning ban in mid-October because of a worsening drought that left the region with a dry landscape and depleted water resources.

State officials said they will continue to monitor conditions and could reinstate the burn ban if conditions change.