Following the Forest Service decision to lift its burn ban in 67 North Carolina counties, Cabarrus County Fire Marshal Jacob Thompson announced Wednesday that Cabarrus would follow suit.
Cabarrus was among the counties included in the N.C. Forest Service announcement. Thompson said his office also discussed the move with local Forest Service officials before making the decision.
The state ban prohibited open burning 100 feet or more from a structure. The local ban prohibited open burning within 100 feet of a structure. Both bans took effect on November 29 due to extremely dry, hazardous weather conditions.
Rainfall and lower temperatures have reduced the fire danger, but the precipitation has not ended drought conditions, state officials said.
Based on North Carolina’s open burning laws, the N.C. Forest Service offers these tips to landowners:
- Make sure you have an approved burning permit. You can obtain a burning permit at any N.C. Forest Service office, a County-approved burning permit agent or online at ncforestservice.gov.
- Check the weather. Don’t burn if conditions are dry or windy.
- Consider alternatives to burning. Some yard debris such as leaves and grass may be more valuable if composted.
- 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. Trash should be hauled away to a convenience center.
- Plan burning for the late afternoon when conditions are typically less windy and more humid.
- If you must burn, be prepared. Use a shovel or hoe to clear a perimeter around the area around where you plan to burn. Keep fire tools ready. To control the fire, you will need a hose, bucket, a steel rake and a shovel for tossing dirt on the fire.
- Never use flammable liquids such as kerosene, gasoline or diesel fuel to speed debris burning.
- Stay with your fire until it is completely out. In North Carolina, human carelessness leads to more wildfires than any other cause. In fact, debris burning is the number cause of wildfires in North Carolina.
For more information, contact the Cabarrus County Fire Marshal’s Office at 704-920-2143.