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It’s legal to burn yard waste in the county, but what about the smoke that permeates my house?

Ashley Withers

Brian Kirkham tends a small debris fire in Boiling Spring Lakes Wednesday March 18, 2009. Staff Photo BY PAUL STEPHEN.

Q. I know it’s legal to burn yard waste outside the city limits. I live in Kings Grant and have multiple neighbors who do so regularly and the smoke inundates my yard and often permeates my house. Are there any rules that protect me from having to deal with this?

A. “Burning of vegetative debris/yard waste is permitted to occur on the property of which it originates in the unincorporated areas of New Hanover County with a valid burning permit from the N.C. Forest Service,” county spokesman Charles Smith said. “This excludes trash, construction materials, etc.”

Smith suggests checking for the neighbors’ valid permits or submitting a petition to the N.C. Division of Air Quality.

Smith said that anyone who has a documented health concern and is living in an area prone to outdoor burning may petition the Division of Air Quality for relief.

“Upon their investigative determination, it is possible to have area noted with ‘known health hazards’ – which would prevent this type of outdoor burning,” Smith said.

For more information on this process, contact the N.C. Division of Air Quality Wilmington Regional Office at 796-7215.


Why is it illegal to burn debris in the city?

I read the article about backyard burning in New Hanover and Wilmington but would like to know the laws in Brunswick County.

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One Response to “ It’s legal to burn yard waste in the county, but what about the smoke that permeates my house?”

  1. On February 22, 2014 at 3:16 pm Jennifer wrote:

    Are there regulations about where people can burn yard debris in their yard? My neighbor burns right next to my fence. Do they have to be a certain distance from neighbors etc?

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