*Press Release from Blue Ridge Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc.*
The spring wildfire season is now upon us,and we all need to be aware that small brush fires can quickly turn into wildfires that can rapidly get out of control and overwhelm containment! During the spring, winds and sunlight can work together to dry out last fall’s leaf litter and create a potential tinder fuel for wildfire. Under dry and windy conditions, it is not recommended to start any outdoor fires. When properly used, fire is a very good tool but when it escapes it can be one of the most destructive forces in nature. Even with the proper tools and preparation, a small leaf fire can escape when you turn your back for even a second. That is why it is essential to acquire a burn permit for any outdoor burning operation.
A burn permit is required by the North Carolina Forest Service for outdoor burning regardless of the size. The permit is free, easy to get, and the right thing to do. A burn permit is issued when conditions are okay to stage an outdoor fire. Burn permits are important to fire personnel in order to keep tabs on existing and potential fires in the area.
A burning permit is required for burning all Natural Vegetation that is hand piled. Natural vegetation might include: leaf piles on the premises where they fall, existing small clearings to plant vegetable and flower gardens, vegetative debris disposal from storm damage, weed abatement, and disease and/or pest prevention. It is unlawful to burn man made materials such as tires, shingles, plastics, lumber, household garbage, etc. Burning Permits are good only for the time period in which they were issued. Watching an out of control fire rushing toward your things is a very helpless feeling and a permit won’t stop it but it will remind us to take precautions and be careful with our fires.
The free burning permit is available, on-line(http://www.ncforestservice.gov/burn_permits/burn_permits_main.htm) or in person.Fires should not be initiated before 8:00 a.m. and should be completely extinguished before dark.
When small fires do get out of control, the first thing a fire-fighter will ask you on the scene is: “do you have a permit?”
For more information on burn permits contact your local North Carolina Forest Service Ranger or local fire department. For more information on preparing for wildfires please contact Blue Ridge RC&D (828.284.9818) or your North Carolina Forest Service County Ranger.
Be Fire Wise! http://appcofac.org/about/