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Whom do you call when a neighbor is burning leaves and a “No Burning Advisory” has been issued?

Julian March

The National Weather Service issues outlooks forecasting the risk of fire weather.

Those advisories of fire danger do not carry penalties. “Legally that person can burn. There’s just an advisory against it,” said Shane Hardee, district forester for the N.C. Forest Service.

The Forest Service has the ability to issue a burning ban that legally prohibits burns, though Hardee said the last area ban was in 2011, the same year as a massive wildfire in the Holly Shelter Game Land in Pender County.

“Legally, unless we issue a burning ban, then people can still burn,” Hardee said.

State law prohibits burning anything that does not grow on the property, Hardee said. It is also illegal to burn within 50 feet of a residence except in a cooking or warming fire, Hardee said.

Local fire marshals have jurisdiction within 100 feet of a residence, he said. The N.C. Forest Service has jurisdiction beyond that.

If you have further questions, you can call the N.C. Forest Service district office at 910-642-5093.

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