Chatham County Fire Marshal issues open burning ban due to hazardous forest fire conditions

Pittsboro, NC – Due to increased fire risk, and at the direction of the North Carolina Forest Service, the Chatham County Fire Marshal’s Office has issued a ban on all open burning and has canceled all burning permits countywide until further notice. This ban includes open burning within the municipal limits of Goldston, Pittsboro, and Siler City.

Open burning includes burning leaves, branches, or other plant material. In all cases, burning trash, lumber, tires, newspapers, plastics, or other non-vegetative material is illegal. Under North Carolina law, the NC Forest Service ban prohibits all open burning in all 100 counties, regardless of whether a permit was previously issued. The issuance of any new permits also has been suspended until the ban is lifted. Anyone violating the burn ban faces a $100 fine plus $183 court costs. Any person responsible for setting a fire may be liable for any expenses related to extinguishing the fire. Local fire officials and law enforcement officers are assisting the NC Forest Service in enforcing the burn ban.

“It is fall wildfire season in North Carolina, and we are seeing wildfire activity increase due to dry conditions,” said NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “With these ongoing conditions, a statewide burn ban is necessary to reduce the risk of fires starting and spreading quickly. Our top priority is always to protect lives, property, and forestland across the state.”

Chatham County Fire Marshal Billy Judson strongly recommends that only liquid gas or propane camp stoves that do not use solid briquettes and have on/off controls be used during this time and strongly urges all county residents and property owners to be attentive to the conditions of their properties through proactive fire prevention measures. He also discourages the use of fire pits due to the risk of embers that may spark a fire. “We recognize that this decision may alter recreational plans, but the decision to issue a burn ban prioritizes public safety and the protection of property,” said Judson.

The burn ban will remain in place until further notice, and the NC Forest Service will continue to monitor conditions. The public is asked to call 911 to report any wildfires or if they see any fire burning that is not in a gas or charcoal grill. Residents with questions about the burn ban may contact the Chatham County Fire Marshal’s Office at 919-545-8342 or visit the NC Forest Service website.