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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, NOV. 7, 2013

CONTACT: Brian R. Haines, public information officer
N.C. Forest Service
919-857-4828

Forest Service urges Triad residents to be cautious
when burning yard debris

Dry conditions persist in region

N.C. Forest Service shieldRALEIGH — As the Triad remains dry, the N.C. Forest Service is urging residents to think safety and exercise caution when burning yard debris.

The fall fire season in North Carolina typically lasts from mid-October until the end of November. During the season, people do a lot of yard work that often includes burning leaves and yard debris. There are many factors to consider before doing any debris burning. The Forest Service encourages people considering debris burning to contact their local county forest ranger. The forest ranger can offer technical advice and explain the best options to help maximize the safety to people, property and the forest.

“Protect our natural resources by acting safely; don’t burn on dry, windy days, and maintain a careful watch over a fire until it is extinguished,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.

The N.C. Forest Service urges people to adhere to the following tips to protect property and prevent wildfires:

  • Consider alternatives to burning. Some yard debris such as leaves and grass may be more valuable if composted.
  • Obtain an approved burning permit at any N.C. Forest Service office, a county-approved burning permit agent or online at http://ncforestservice.gov.
  • Check with the county fire marshal’s office for local laws on burning debris. Some communities allow burning only during specified hours; others forbid it entirely.
  • Check the weather. Don’t burn if conditions are dry or windy.
  • Burn only natural vegetation from your property. Burning household trash or any other man-made materials is illegal. Trash should be hauled away to a convenience center.
  • Plan burning for the late afternoon when conditions are typically less windy and more humid.
  • Be prepared. Use a shovel or hoe to clear a perimeter around the area where the burn will take place.
  • Keep fire tools ready: 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 the fire until it is completely out. In North Carolina, human carelessness leads to more wildfires than any other cause.
  • These same tips hold true for campfires and barbeques, too. Douse burning charcoal briquettes or campfires thoroughly with water. Stir soaked coals and soak them again. Be sure they are out cold and carefully feel to be sure they are extinguished. Never dump hot ashes or coals into a wooded area.
  • When burning agricultural residue and forestland litter, follow the rules above and plow a fire line around the area to be burned. Large fields should be separated into small plots for burning one at a time. Before doing any burning in a wooded area, contact your county ranger who will weigh all factors, explain them and offer technical advice.

Studies have shown that taking these and other measures can greatly reduce wildfires and the loss of property associated with them. For more information about preventing wildfires and loss of property, log onto http://ncforestservice.gov, click on “fire” and follow the links.

-brh-5

NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3001; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture

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