Drought Raises Wildfire Risks

File photo of a brush fire in 2022.

There is no burn ban in place yet, but N.C. Forest Service officials are discouraging outdoor burning due to the ongoing dry weather.

As hot and dry conditions persist across much of the state, fire danger will be moderate to high across the Piedmont and Coastal Plain until significant rainfall is received.

“Outdoor burning and at-home fireworks are discouraged until your area receives substantial, soaking rain,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler. “Fire danger is high. Fuels can ignite quickly, and unattended fires are likely to escape and spread in a hurry. We understand fireworks are a major part of Independence Day celebrations and festivities, and that’s why we’re encouraging folks to attend professional fireworks displays rather than conducting their own.”

Being diligent and responsible with outdoor fire and fireworks is critical all the time. If a wildfire is caused by your backyard fire or fireworks, you may be subject to law enforcement action.

While there is not a state issued burn ban currently in place, one may be needed if dry conditions worsen or fail to improve. Continue to check for burn bans or fire restrictions in your area.

“Anytime we’re experiencing prolonged dry conditions and increased fire danger, the conversation as to whether or not to implement a burn ban, when to implement it and where, is taking place,” said Greg Hicks, assistant commissioner for the N.C Forest Service. “Those conversations have been happening for a while now and will continue to happen as we look at conditions on a day-to-day basis.”

 

The N.C. Forest Service is continuing to monitor conditions. Residents with questions regarding a specific county can contact their NCFS county ranger’s office, their county fire marshal’s office or local fire department to ensure you are not violating any open burning regulations.

Additionally, Troxler and the agriculture department continue to monitor crop conditions and agricultural impacts. 

“Agricultural growth conditions continue to deteriorate statewide. Right now we are in a wait and see mode and all of us need to pray for rain.” 

About Jefferson Weaver 2149 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].