Burn ban lifted for 30 counties in Western North Carolina as conditions begin to improve

Last Updated on November 22, 2023 4:21 pm

RALEIGH — Effective at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22, the N.C. Forest Service has lifted a ban on all open burning outside of the 100-foot area around an occupied dwelling for the following counties in North Carolina: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey. Burn bans were issued for these counties due to hazardous forest fire conditions in the area. The first ban took effect for 14 counties on Nov. 5. The second ban took effect in the additional 16 counties on Nov. 8.

“While recent rainfall has decreased fire danger and provided some relief from persistent dry conditions, I can’t stress enough how important it is for the public to be careful, ready and responsible when burning outdoors,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Almost all wildfires in this state are human-caused, which means most wildfires in this state are preventable. Do your part. Check for restrictions before burning. Get a valid permit. Check the weather, and never leave any outdoor fire unattended.”

As of 5 p.m., burn permits are available in all counties. You can obtain a burn permit from any open authorized permitting agent or online at All burn permits previously granted in the 30 counties affected by this burn ban were canceled when the ban became effective. A new, valid permit must be obtained.

Residents with questions regarding their specific county can contact their N.C. Forest Service county ranger or their county fire marshal’s office. To find contact information for your local NCFS county ranger, visit

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