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.