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State Aware Of Controlled Burn Despite Brush Fire Warnings

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CHATHAM COUNTY, N.C. — Despite a time when residents across the state have been urged not to burn debris because of windy and dry conditions, the N.C. Forest Service was aware of a controlled burn Thursday.

The controlled burn, administered by a contractor for Progress Energy, covered a little more than 200 acres on the Chatham County side of Harris Lake -- about a mile away from any residences or structures.

North Carolina Forest Service officials said the conditions had improved enough with winds dying and the relative humidity higher.

"Yesterday, we would have said, 'No.' It was very dry. We had single-digit relative humidity and it was extremely dry," said Jamie Kritzer, a spokesman for the forest service.

Kritzer stressed, however, that the burn was by a professional with all necessary precautions considered and that residents still need to be careful.

"I would like them not to burn on days like we had yesterday because it could be, we will see more of them in the very near future," he said.

The controlled burn serves as a guard against the threat of a wildfire getting out of control. It minimizes the amount of timber that could catch fire.

A handful of brushfires have been reported over central North Carolina within the past few days, including two in Person County and one in Orange County on Thursday and one in Wake County on Wednesday.


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