Today’s Topic: Fall wildfire season approaches

By on October 1, 2013

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”

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Nine out of 10 wildfires in the United States are started by people, and this month brings the start of fall wildfire season in North Carolina. Commissioner Troxler is encouraging residents to keep safety in mind and use caution during the season, which typically lasts from mid-October until mid-December.

In the fall, people do a lot of yard work that often includes burning leaves and yard debris. In North Carolina, more than 40 percent of all wildfires are caused by careless burning, making it the leading cause of wildfires.

The N.C. Forest Service encourages people who are thinking about burning debris to contact their county forest ranger. The forest ranger can offer technical advice and explain the best options to help maximize the safety to people, property and the forest.

Commissioner Troxler urges people to always consider alternatives to burning. But if you choose to burn debris, the Forest Service offers several tips to protect property and prevent wildfires:

  • Obtain a burning permit at a Forest Service office or online.
  • Check the weather – don’t burn on dry, windy days.
  • Know your local burning laws.
  • Be prepared with water, a shovel and a phone.
  • Stay with your fire until it is completely out.

Studies have shown that following these common-sense steps can greatly reduce wildfires and the loss of property that comes with them. For more information, visit ncforestservice.gov.

Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda talk about fire safety.

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