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Burn ban lifted for 18 eastern counties as conditions improve

The ban on open fires in Hyde County, including beach fires, will be lifted at 5 p.m. today (June 10). Photo: C. Leinbach

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The burn ban for Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Dare, Duplin, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Tyrrell and Washington counties will be lifted as of 5 p.m. today (June 10.)

Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore) immediately followed by lifting its beach fire ban also as of 5 p.m. today.

The ban for all outside fires, including beach fires on the seashore, went into effect on May 30 due to extremely dry conditions in the area.

Burn permits are now available in those counties once again, but forest officials strongly encourage extreme caution with any open burning since careless debris burns are the leading cause of wildfires in North Carolina.

“We’re thankful for the recent rainfall and improved conditions which have lessened much of the wildfire risk in the Coastal area,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.  “Even with the burn ban in place, wildland firefighters with our N.C. Forest Service responded to 53 wildfires covering 342 acres within those burn ban counties. The ban’s purpose was to prevent human-caused fires, freeing up responders to focus on wildfires naturally caused by lightning.”

The online burn permit system is open again statewide. All burn permits previously granted within the 18 burn ban counties were cancelled when the ban was implemented so new permit applications must be submitted. Online burn permits are available at www.ncforestservice.gov or in-person from local agent within each county.

Residents with questions regarding their specific county can contact their county ranger with the N.C. Forest Service or their county fire marshal’s office.

Beach fires at Seashore beaches require a free beach fire permit. To learn more about the permit, click here.

Seashore visitor centers and campgrounds have copies of the beach fire permit.

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