N.C. Forest Service reminds residents to be cautious when burning.

by | Oct 25, 2023

Summary: Fall is a time when people are enjoying the outdoors and often that involves campfires or other open burning. It’s always a good time to remind people to use care when burning.

Today’s Topic with Southern Farm Network’s Mike Davis

  • Back in the spring, we talked about residents being careful when burning in order to help avoid wildfires. We also shared tips in preparing for a burn.
  • That message is even more important in the fall since our state sees more wildfires in October through early December.
  • Some of that could be attributed to people being outside more in those months and engaging in activities that involve fires, such as camping, backyard burning and tailgating.
  • It’s important to tend to any fires you start, because they can get out of hand very quickly.
  • In 2022, there were nearly 6,400 wildfires that burned more than 24,000 acres in North Carolina. 99% of those were determined to be human caused.
  • One of the most important reasons to pay attention is that North Carolina has a large number of acres and housing that falls in area where undeveloped wildlands and residential or human development intersect.
  • Technically, the Forest Service refers to that as Wildland Urban Interface.
  • As of 2020, there are roughly 2.25 million homes and more than half of North Carolina’s residents live in WUI areas.
  • With more development and population growth, we’ll have more people actively living and recreating in areas where homes and forest and woodlands meet.
  • And where we have increased human activity, we tend to see more wildfires.
  • If you do plan to burn, be sure you have a plan in case your fire escapes.
  • Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
    • Get a burn permit from a N.C. Forest Service office or authorized permitting agent.
    • Check the weather and don’t burn on windy days.
    • Keep your fire small, not tall.
    • Again, have a plan AND materials handy if your fire escapes. Water hose, bucket, steel rake and shovel.
    • Keep a phone nearby.
    • Thoroughly douse campfire and charcoal briquettes with water to ensure they are completely out. Soak all embers, not just the red ones.
    • Stay with any fire until it is completely out.
  • We all have to do our part to prevent forest fires and keep one another safe. Thank you for doing your part.