A burning ban was issued by the North Carolina Forest Service for 25 counties as a result of dry conditions and the increased risk of fire.
All open burning is banned for the following counties in Western North Carolina: Alexander, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey counties. Also, all burning permits have been cancelled.
The burning ban was issued on Monday, November 7 and shall remain in effect until further notice.
It is illegal to open burn while the burn ban is in effect. In addition to the possibility of being charged with a crime, violators may have additional citations, fines, and penalties assessed.
The burn ban does not apply to cooking fires such as grills or outdoor cookers.
The ban does not apply to fire that is within 100 feet of an occupied dwelling. County fire marshals have jurisdiction over open burning within 100 feet of an occupied dwelling.
In the event a fire is started within 100-feet of an occupied dwelling and it escapes containment, a North Carolina forest ranger may take reasonable action to either extinguish or control it. The person responsible for setting the fire may be responsible for reimbursing the North Carolina Forest Service for any expenses related to extinguishing the fire.