After driest November in 90 years, some local officials clamp down on burn ban

Posted December 3, 2021 9:51 p.m. EST
Updated December 3, 2021 10:30 p.m. EST

After the driest November in 90 years, fire officials state wide are asking people to be on alert.

A burn ban is already in effect across North Carolina, but there's a pretty big loop hole there.

The state-wide ban was issued by the North Carolina Forest Service. The thing is, their jurisdiction stops within 100 feet of a home.

Within that circle, it's up to your local fire officials whether any controlled burns are allowed at all and how those burns can be carried out.

And with conditions so dry, Friday, some local officials are clamping down even further.

According to Cabe Speary with the state Forest Service, the current drought is one of the worst in recent history - not the deepest, but one of the most widespread.

And that prompted the state-wide burn ban his office issued earlier this week.

"Most of the fires in North Carolina, 60 plus percent of the escaped wild fires, are from people burning debris ," said Speary. "It's very dry. Lot of dry tinder on the ground. "

Durham Fire Marshal Jason Shepherd is taking things a step further. Extending the burn ban right up to the front door.

The Durham ban means no fires, open or contained, are allowed outside in the city or county, and comes after a recent outdoor fire nearly destroyed a home there.

Other counties, including Wake, haven't banned fires within that 100 foot radius from a home or occupied dwelling.

Fire officials are encouraging everyone to avoid fires if possible, and to make absolutely sure you have a charged fire extinguisher, or plenty of water or sand, to put any fire you do start out.

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