The North Carolina Department of Agriculture Forest Service issued a statewide ban on open burning on Monday, November 29, 2021. The current Forestry Service ban does not apply within 100 feet of occupied dwellings. Therefore, to protect Durham residents and the environment, the Fire Marshals in Durham County and the City of Durham today issued a local burning ban within 100 feet of all occupied dwellings as authorized by local County and City ordinances and the North Carolina State Fire Prevention Code. This ban is effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice.
The local burning ban includes fires used in:
- Recreational fires
- Backyard fire pits
- Portable outdoor fireplaces
- Open burning of yard vegetation
The current atmospheric conditions warrant such a ban since Durham and the surrounding region are experiencing very low humidity with no rain forecast in the coming days. These dry conditions with additional fuel load from the fall foliage combined with light winds make conditions ideal for an out-of-control fire. The releasing of embers by one of these fuel sources are impossible to contain and could result in a fire.
Residents may continue to use contained cooking methods, such as outdoor grills and smokers. “We appreciate residents’ understanding and willingness to protect our community,” said Durham County Chief Fire Marshal Jason Shepherd.
Residents are also asked to follow these additional fire safety tips:
- Always have a charged fire extinguisher in place and ready to use.
- Be mindful when discarding smoking materials.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
- Exterior candle luminaries for religious observations should be placed on paved or gravel areas. Electric or battery luminaries are recommended.
For more information on the burn ban visit North Carolina Forest Service at ncforestservice.gov. Or contact Jason B. Shepherd, Durham County Chief Fire Marshal, at [email protected] or 919-201-6638 or Jody Morton, City of Durham Fire Marshal/Assistant Chief at [email protected] or 919-218-5746.