Fire officials warn against burning with current dry, windy conditions
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Fire crews in southeastern North Carolina have been busy putting out brush fires that spread quickly due to the dangerous burning conditions.
“Please don’t try and burn this time of year with the wind and low humidity and the temperature is high,” Raymond Griswold, deputy fire marshal with New Hanover County, said.
Griswold said New Hanover County Fire Rescue worked to put out two preventable fires on Wednesday.
“We had a grass fire start in one yard, spread through six yards. Just some dry conditions,“ Griswold said. “Even if you burned the night before because conditions were allowable the night before. Make sure you stir your fire pits, whether they have a metal bottom, dirt, bottom, whatever. The embers can get blown away during the day. And that’s what happened today. We’re lucky all that burned was the grasses. [The fire] did get under the fences, didn’t damage any of the fences and guys got there put the fire out.”
With record-high heat and little rain, it’s an issue across southeastern North Carolina.
About 20 acres burned in Bladen County. Crews were clearing land when the flames spread from about five acres to 20 acres. Agencies in both Bladen and Cumberland counties, along with the North Carolina Forest Service contained the flames.
Griswold said if burning is absolutely necessary, follow these simple steps:
- Have water onsite or a way to extinguish the fire if needed.
- Make sure there are no combustibles nearby, including grasses and other embers.
- Double-check that your fire is out before leaving it. Even if the fire in your fire pit looks like it’s done burning, Griswold said to stir it again and put some more water on it just in case the wind picks it back up.
As Smokey says, only you can prevent wildfires.
“Just be safe out there. Think before you do and plan accordingly,” Griswold added.
Copyright 2023 WECT. All rights reserved.