Total burn ban in effect for Iredell County
Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler today banned open burning and canceled all burning permits for 22 more counties in Western North Carolina. Added to the list are Alleghany, Anson, Ashe, Cabarrus, Caswell, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Iredell, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Randolph, Richmond, Rockingham, Rowan, Stanly, Stokes, Surry, Union, Wilkes and Yadkin counties.
The burning ban took effect at 5 p.m., Monday, Nov. 21, and will be in effect until further notice.
Under North Carolina law, the ban prohibits all open burning in the affected counties, regardless of whether a permit was issued. Violation of the ban carries a $100 fine plus court costs of $180.
The ban on open burning is necessary because of the dry weather conditions and the potential for the increase in human-caused wildfires in the region. As of Nov. 20, there have been 3,021 wildfires affecting more than 19,058 acres on state protected lands across North Carolina this year. In the mountains alone, there have been 1,203 fires that have burned 4,015 acres.
An open burn ban is now in place for the entire counties of Alexander, Alleghany, Anson, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Caswell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Gaston, Graham, Guilford, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, Montgomery, Polk, Randolph, Richmond, Rockingham, Rowan, Rutherford, Stanly, Stokes, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Union, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin and Yancey.
Here 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 over open burning within 100 feet of an occupied dwelling. The N.C. Forest Service has advised county fire marshals 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 it. The person responsible for setting the fire may be responsible for reimbursing the N.C. Forest Service for any expenses related to extinguishing it.
- 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.
- Outdoor burning is also prohibited in areas covered by Code Orange or Code Red air quality forecasts.
Local fire departments and law enforcement officers are assisting the N.C. Forest Service in enforcing the burn ban.
SOURCE: NORTH CAROLINA FOREST SERVICE