N.C. Forest Service eases burn ban

A firefighter with the N.C. Forest Service sprays remaining hot spots from the wildfire at Pilot Mountain State Park that caused damage to over 1,000 acres by Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, in Pinnacle, N.C. (Allison Lee Isley/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP)

RALEIGH, N.C. — A statewide burn ban has been eased across much of North Carolina after dry conditions improved with recent rains.


What You Need To Know

A ban on open burning has been lifted in 67 of North Carolina’s 100 counties

Recent rains have improved hazardous conditions

33 counties remain under the burn ban, which includes campfires


The N.C. Forest Service announced Wednesday that it has lifted its prohibition on open burning in 67 counties.

“The rainfall we are seeing across much of the state right now is doing what we need it to do,” Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, whose agency oversees the Forest Service, stated in a news release. “Forest fuels are soaking it in, and conditions are improving.”

The burn ban was imposed Nov. 29 because of hazardous conditions that raised risk of wildfires.

Last month was North Carolina’s third-driest November on record, according to the State Climate Office.

This past weekend, the Forest Service reported that firefighters managed to contain two wildfires that affected hundreds of acres.

The Grindstone Fire at Pilot Mountain near Winston-Salem burned for almost a week and covered more than 1,000 acres. The Huntsville Mountain Fire in McDowell County east of Asheville burned more than 400 acres.

Although the Grindstone Fire was contained, Pilot Mountain Park was still closed Wednesday, Spectrum News 1’s Kaitlin Miller reports.

The burn ban remains for 33 counties, mostly in the north-central part of the state west of Wake County through Buncombe County.

Troxler said residents of counties where the ban had been lifted should “burn responsibly.” Open burning includes leaves and branches, as well as campfires.

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