Commissioner Steve Troxler: Burn Ban Issued for 18 Eastern NC Counties

Due to increased fire risk, the N.C. Forest Service has issued a ban on all open burning and canceled all burning permits for the following counties in Eastern North Carolina.

  • The beginning of June means summer is quickly approaching, which will bring warmer, and dryer weather.
  • Due to increased fire risk, the N.C. Forest Service has officially issued a ban on all open burning and canceled all burning permits for Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Dare, Duplin, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Tyrrell, and Washington county. WILDFIRE
  • The burning ban went into effect on Thursday, May 30 and will remain in effect until further notice as the N.C. Forest Service continues to monitor conditions across the state.
  • The ban prohibits all open burning in the affected counties, regardless of a permit being issued. Violating the burn ban will cost a $100 fine plus $180 in court fees. We have all seen the devasting effects that wildfires can have. I urge residents to not burn until conditions improve.
  • In the month of May, there were 355 wildfires statewide, which covered 1,348 acres.
  • The burn ban issued by the N.C. Forest Service does not apply to a fire within 100 feet of an occupied dwelling. Local government agencies have jurisdiction over open burning within 100 feet of an occupied dwelling.
  • Local ordinances and air quality regulations may impact open burning. In Code Orange and Code Red air quality forecasts, outdoor burning is prohibited.
  • During this time of heightened fire risk, it is important to minimize outside interference in firefighting and rescue operations.
  • Unmanned Aerial Systems, also called drones, can interfere with wildland fire air traffic including air tankers, helicopters and other firefighting aircraft necessary to suppress wildland fires.
  • Even a tiny drone can cause a serious or fatal accident if it collides with firefighting aircraft. In most situations if drones are spotted near a wildfire, firefighting aircraft must land due to safety concerns, prolonging firefighting operations and potentially putting property and lives at risk.
  • We need your help. There are no reliable technologies that will alert ground or aerial resources if a drone is in the area. That means the only reliable method of detection is through visual observation. If you witness or hear of drone usage around a wildfire, please notify N.C. Forest Service personnel on the scene of the wildfire and ask the individual flying the drone to vacate the airspace.
  • You can find out more about wildfire risk assessments, prevention plans and preparedness on the N.C. Forest Service website.
  • Residents with questions about their specific county can contact their county ranger with the N.C. Forest Service or their county fire marshal’s office.