Officials discourage outdoor burning in NC with dry, windy conditions

A brush fire along I-440 over the weekend. Photo by David Hughes provided to WNCN.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The National Weather Service is discouraging outdoor burning since fires could quickly grow out of control because of low humidity, high winds and a lack of rain.

Since Oct. 8, less a half-inch of rain has fallen the Triangle area.

“Usually when the winds are up around 15 miles per hour the chances of fire spreading from fire pits or outdoor cooking or outdoor grilling increases,” said Chief Allen Wilson of the Raleigh Fire Department.

“The problem that we have is because homes are so close to the woodlands is that the fire spreads from the woodlands, spreads to the homes and causes massive destruction,”  he added.

Wilson advises people to keep flammable materials at least 30 feet away from any home.

“When we have very little rain that we have not seen in the last few weeks, those forest fuels … quickly dry out, especially when it’s been as warm as it has been and as breezy and windy as it’s been this weekend. Those fuels will dry quickly,” said Brian Haines, spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Michael White and his dog Sebastian are regular visitors to Durant Nature Park. White has recently noticed dry conditions in the park.

“We come twice a day — 365 days a year — and the last couple of weeks has been a lot drier than normal,” White said.

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