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Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 6 through 12

The N.C. Forest Service and the USDA Forest Service urge residents and visitors to be cautious with campfires and when burning yard debris. This reminder coincides with National Fire Prevention Week, which runs Oct. 6 through Oct. 12.

 

The fall wildfire season typically lasts from mid-October until mid-December, the time of year when people do a lot of yard work that may include burning leaves and yard debris. The leading cause of wildfires across the state is debris burning. When left unattended, debris fires can escape and start wildfires.

 

“We will not forget the 2016 fall wildfire season that burned more than 59,511 acres across North Carolina,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “As we head into this fall fire season facing similarly dry weather conditions, let’s remember that each of us can do our part to avoid and to prevent wildfires. It is important to exercise extreme caution while burning debris of any kind.”

 

There are many factors to consider before burning debris. The N.C. Forest Service encourages residents to contact their local county forest ranger before burning debris. The ranger can offer technical advice and explain the best options to help ensure the safety of people, property and the forest. To find contact information for your local county ranger, visit www.ncforestservice.gov/contacts.

 

For people who choose to burn debris, the N.C. Forest Service offers the following tips to protect property and to prevent wildfires:

 

  • Consider alternatives to burning. Some types of debris, such as leaves, grass and stubble, may be of more value if they are not burned, but used for mulch instead;
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  • Check local burning laws. Some communities allow burning only during specified hours. Others forbid it entirely;
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  • Make sure you have a valid permit. You can obtain a burn permit at any N.C. Forest Service office or authorized permitting agent, or online at www.ncforestservice.gov/burnpermit;
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  • Keep an eye on the weather. Don’t burn on dry, windy days;
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  • Local fire officials can recommend a safe way to burn debris. Don’t pile vegetation on the ground. Instead, place it in a cleared area and contain it in a screened receptacle away from overhead branches and wires;
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  • Household trash should be hauled away to a trash or recycling station. It is illegal to burn anything other than yard debris;
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  • Be sure you are fully prepared before burning. To control the fire, you will need a hose, bucket, steel rake and a shovel for tossing dirt on the fire. Keep a phone nearby, too;
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  • Never use kerosene, gasoline, diesel fuel or other flammable liquids to speed up debris burning;
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  • Stay with your fire until it is completely out.
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  • When burning agricultural residue and forestland litter, a fire line should be plowed 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 Granville County Ranger Rob Montague at (919) 693-3154, who will weigh all factors, explain them and offer technical advice.

 

Pictured are Smokey Bear and County Ranger Rob Montague are shown with Creedmoor Elementary School first graders during a recent fire prevention program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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