Pender County issues burn ban in response to moderate drought

PENDER COUNTY — With southeastern N.C. under a moderate drought alert, the Pender County Fire Marshal’s Office has issued a burning ban, beginning Monday at noon.

RELATED: Tri-county officials urge water conservation and fire prevention practices amid moderate drought

“Pender County has seen a rise in the number of outside fires that are requiring extensive manpower and equipment for containment,” Tommy Batson, Pender County emergency manager, said in a release. “The area has received little, to no rainfall in the past few weeks. Additionally, the forecasted highs this week in are expected in the 90’s with no rain in sight.”

Within the last 14 days, temperatures have risen and will continue creeping into the 90s this week, with minimal rain in the forecast. According to the National Weather Service, the coastal region is experiencing a rain deficit of more than 5 inches as well. Thus fire danger has increased.

“The chance for stronger winds and very low humidity does not help for fire control operations,” Pender County noted in a release.

The restrictions extend 100 feet from all residential structures. It does not include barbecuing on outdoor gas or charcoal grills, as long as the fire is contained and precautions are taken.

“According to the North Carolina Forestry Service, under North Carolina law, the ban prohibits all open burning in affected counties, regardless of whether a permit was previously issued,” the release continued.

As such, new permits will not be issued and will be suspended until the ban is lifted. Violators will face $100 in fines and court costs of $180.

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