Easley Issues Statewide Burn Ban

Put those fire out. That word today from Governor Mike Easley who enacted a statewide ban on opening burning in North Carolina.

The governor says the ban is necessary because of the dry weather conditions and low water resources across the state.

The ban prohibits all open burning, regardless of whether a permit was issued. The issuance of any new permits have been suspended.

Violators could face a $100 fine, plus court costs.

The following are a few facts about the law regarding the ban on open burning:

The burn ban does not apply to cooking fires, such as grills or outdoor cookers.

The ban does not apply to a fire within 100 feet of an occupied dwelling. County fire marshals have jurisdiction of burning within 100 feet of an occupied dwelling. The Division of Forest Resources has advised county fire marshals across the state of the burning ban and asked for their consideration of also implementing a burning ban. In addition, other local ordinances and air quality regulations may also impact open burning.

If a fire within that 100-foot area escapes containment, a North Carolina forest ranger may take reasonable steps to extinguish or control the fire. The person responsible for setting the fire may be responsible for reimbursing NCDENR for any expenses related to extinguishing that fire.

Open burning includes burning leaves, branches and other plant material. In all cases, it is illegal to burn trash, lumber, tires, newspapers, plastics or other non-vegetative materials.

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