Statewide burn bans issued after wildfire

KENANSVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – The Duplin County fire marshal issued a county burn ban this week, ahead of the state forest service doing the same thing for the entire state.

Duplin County Fire Marshal Matthew Barwick explained the differences between the state burn ban and the county burn ban.

“The essential nature of the statewide burn ban versus the county burn ban… the state forest service has authority and jurisdiction outside of 100 feet from dwellings. My authority within the county, the unincorporated areas of the county, exists within that 100 feet from an occupied dwelling,” Barwick said.

Barwick says county fire departments have responded to several fires in Eastern Carolina since the beginning of November.

Barwick and several volunteer firemen have been monitoring the conditions on Pilot Mountain and say these types of burns are especially likely in rural areas.

“Out in the rural areas, houses are a lot more spread farther apart so a lot of people burning stuff off,” Davis Powell, volunteer firefighter and instructor at James Sprunt Community College said.

Powell explained that these fires occur when people burn limbs and debris in dry areas of their fields and yards.

Pitt County and Wayne County issued burn bans for their counties on Tuesday.

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