Don’t let your guard down

Published 7:24 pm Wednesday, June 12, 2019

A deluge of rain and summer storms in the past two weeks have prompted state officials to lift a burn ban that was in place for 18 eastern North Carolina counties, including those in the readership area of the Washington Daily News.

The ban was put in place May 30 due to extremely dry conditions throughout the region. While the burn ban was lifted on Monday, that doesn’t mean local residents should let down their guards when it comes to fire.

According to North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, the N.C. Forest Service responded to 53 wildfires, covering 342 acres, during the burn ban. In the release announcing the ban has been lifted, the N.C. Forest Service says caution is still strongly encouraged with open burning, as careless debris burns are the top cause of wildfires in the state.

Here in Beaufort County, we are considered a “high hazard” county, which means that additional regulations apply. Before anyone begins burning debris on their property, they need to obtain a permit from the N.C. Forest Service at

Those with questions about burning laws should contact their local county ranger. In Beaufort County, that number is 252-946-3944. If in doubt, find out more before burning.

Wildfires cost time and money for local agencies, and more importantly, can put communities at risk. Since 2006, more than 250 homes have been damaged or destroyed by wildfires in North Carolina. Don’t be the reason for one of these fires, and don’t put yourself or others at risk.

Burn smart, or don’t burn at all.