NC Commissioner Troxler: Burn Bans Implemented in Western NC

Two recent burn bans implemented in Western NC that cover nearly a third of the state serves as strongest reminder that we are in dry conditions statewide. Extreme care should be used with any fires.

  • A couple of weeks ago we talked about the fall fire season and urging people to use care when burning because of dry conditions.
  • Last week we implemented two burn bans in Western North Carolina because conditions had gotten worse and warranted the restrictions.
  • As it stands now, 30 counties primarily west of Interstate 77, or nearly a third of the state, are under a burn ban.
  • All burn permits have been revoked and we have fire crews on the ground working to put out a number of fires in Western NC.
  • While the rest of the state is not under a burn ban, I cannot stress enough that anyone planning to burn needs to exercise extreme caution or even reconsider burning at this time.
  • Conditions across the state remain dry, although we are hopeful for some rain relief soon/or hopeful this weekend’s weather will help with conditions.
  • They have not quite gotten to the level that warrants implementing a statewide burn ban, but we continue to monitor and assess conditions daily to evaluate whether we need to expand the area covered by burn bans.
  • According to the Drought Monitor, almost 6.5 million people in North Carolina are estimated to be in drought areas.
  • The Western part of the state is experiencing the driest conditions and fall in the severe drought category.
  • But the rest of the state is reporting moderate drought to abnormally dry conditions, which is why we need everyone to be extra vigilant with fires of any kind.
  • Currently our N.C. Forest Service crews are assisting with firefighting operations on the 2,900-acre Collett Ridge Fire in Cherokee County and the over 400-acre Poplar Road Fire in Henderson County where two homes were lost and there has been other structure damage.
  • We have had to shift Forest Service resources from other areas of the state to assist, which stretches areas thin, so what is happening in the west is impacting all areas of the state.
  • If burning is not 100 percent necessary at this point, please help our firefighting community out and delay burning until conditions improve.