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As of 5:00 p.m. Monday, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says the burn ban will be lifted for 18 counties in Eastern North Carolina.
The burn ban will be lifted in the following counties:
Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Dare, Duplin, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Tyrrell and Washington counties.
The burn ban for those counties 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 caution is strongly encouraged with any open burning, as careless debris burns are the leading cause of wildfires in North Carolina.
Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said, “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 a 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.