North Carolina wildfire officials have banned all outdoor burning and canceled all burning permits because of dry and windy conditions across the state.
The North Carolina Division of Forest Resources said the ban on burning took effect at noon Thursday. It will remain in effect until conditions improve.
People are still allowed to burn up to 100 feet from their home, unless their county enacts their own ban. Thursday, Lenoir County did that at 2:00 p.m.
The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning Thursday for all counties east of the North Carolina mountains. Forecasters said humidity levels will fall to less than 25 percent and sustained winds will reach at least 20 mph. Those conditions can quickly fan and spread outdoor fires.
The Division of Forest Resources said more than 1,800 wildfires have already burned 18,248 acres in 2008.