Today’s Topic: Spring wildfire season

by | Mar 11, 2014

Southern Farm Network logoAgriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”

This time of year, many people get back into their yards to do spring cleaning, which often includes burning leaves and yard debris.

Commissioner Troxler encourages residents to think safety first because this time of year also marks the beginning of the spring wildfire season in the state. This season typically lasts until mid-May.

Before burning, contact your county forest ranger. The ranger can offer technical advice and explain the best options for maximizing safety to people, property and the forest.

“The first thing to remember is don’t burn on dry, windy days,” Troxler says.

The following guidelines also are important:

  • Consider whether you even need to burn debris. You may be able to compost it instead. Check with your local fire marshal’s office to find out whether burning is allowed in your area.
  • Make sure you have an approved burning permit. You can obtain one from your local N.C. Forest Service office, a county-approved burning agent, or online at
  • Burn only natural vegetation. It’s illegal to burn household trash or other man-made materials.
  • Plan to burn in the late afternoon when conditions are typically less windy and more humid.
  • Be prepared. Use a shovel or hoe to clear a perimeter around the area where the burn will take place. And keep a hose, bucket, a steel rake and a shovel on hand to help you control the fire.
  • Never use flammable liquids such as kerosene, gasoline or diesel fuel to speed up the fire.
  • Stay with the fire until it is completely out. In North Carolina, human carelessness leads to more wildfires than any other cause.
  • And finally, if you do burn and the fire gets out of control, don’t fight it yourself. Call 911.

Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss the importance of safety when doing spring cleaning outdoors.

[Audio:|titles=Today’s Topic for March 11]

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