Residents urged to avoid outdoor burning

Published 12:06 pm Saturday, April 4, 2015

The combination of low humidity levels and gusty northwest winds today has caused the National Weather Service to issue a special weather statement urging eastern North Carolina residents to avoid outdoor burning today.

The statement — a fire weather watch — was issued Friday afternoon. It applies mainly to areas east of U.S. Highway 264.

Although rain showers are possible until about 11 a.m. today, clear skies are expected this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service office in Newport. West winds up to 17 mph early today are expected to shift to the northwest this afternoon.

Preliminary reports from the N.C. Forest Service show that 42 wildfires burned about 294 acres on private and state-owned land Thursday. On Tuesday, a wildfire broke out near Ridgecrest in Buncombe County, and as of Friday afternoon it had burned 740 acres. That fire was about 85 percent contained as of Friday, according to the N.C. Forest Service.

So far this year in North Carolina, 1,708 wildfires have burned 3,486 acres. This information does not include uncontained fires or fires that occur on federal property. This year, seven homes have been destroyed by wildfires.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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