Experts Warn Of Winter Brush Fire Dangers

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A Lenoir County man who's entire yard caught on fire says he's learned his lesson about burning leaves on a windy day.

Mike Terrell's yard on Rebecca Lane in Lenoir County north of Kinston is scorched. Terrell says around 1:30 Wednesday afternoon he was burning leaves in his burning pit, and thought he'd put the fire out. When he looked outside a few minutes later, all of the dry grass in his yard had turned to flames. The fire spread through his next door neighbor's yard, and all the way to the woods where it burned the bottom of some trees before crews put out the blaze.

Justin Tilghman with Lenoir County Emergency Services says they see plenty of these fires this time of year, and has a few tips to prevent these brush fires from spreading.

"It's not a bad idea to spray and wet a circular area around the burn pit, so you've got a little bit of a wet area to contain the fire," said Tilghman.

Another tip Tilghman gave was to monitor the weather. He says the fire at Terrell's most likely started because wind blew an ember from the pit into the yard, so avoiding burns on windy days when we haven't had much rain is the safest way to keep a brush fire from occurring.