With a valid email address, it is now possible to get your burning permit
online. However, there are some important stipulations with which you
should be familiar. Many of these restrictions are new, having came about
during recent legislation in response to air quality concerns. So, while you
may have a valid permit, there are other considerations that must be taken
into account. More on that later in this article.
GET A PERMIT
To get your North Carolina Open Burning Permit, simply click on the NCDFR icon below. You will then be redirected to the North
Carolina Division of Forest Resources site to obtain the permit.
We often receive questions concerning the legality of burning certain materials. So, exactly what can you burn? The only
thing your permit allows you to burn is natural vegetation. This includes grass trimmings, leaves, weeds, small twigs and
limbs, and some smaller logs provided the diameter isn't in excess of 6". As a side note, be very cautious if you plan to burn
in an area containing poison ivy and/or oak. The oils from these plants can be transported in smoke creating an inhalation
hazard to those in the immediate area.
Since 1977, it has been illegal to burn household garbage, construction materials such as lumber scraps and vinyl and any
other processed materials. Again, if it's not growing or fresh off a plant, you can't burn it. Persons who choose to ignore this
law face fines of up to $10,000. For more details, you may download the latest copy of North Carolina's open burning laws
(amended December, 2005). More information is available from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural
Resources Division of Air Quality. You can find them on the web at www.ncair.org .
Open burning should only be conducted when public pick-up services are unavailable. In fact, many municipalities, including
the Town of Long View have ordinances that prohibit open burning within their town or city limits so check with local
authorities before you burn.
AIR QUALITY REGULATIONS
In and near certain municipal areas in North Carolina (including the Hickory area), open outdoor burning is not allowed on Air
Quality Action Days. These are days during which the ozone levels are forecast to be in the Orange range or higher. You may
check the Ozone forecast for your area online at www.daq.state.nc.us/Ozone or you may call the North Carolina Air
Awareness Hotline toll free at, 1-888-784-6224 (1-888-RU4NCAIR). The Ozone forecast season runs from April 30-September
30 each year.
There are a number of terms and conditions attached to your burning permit. Make sure you read and understand them. If
you have any questions, call the fire department or your local NC Forest Service representative. Each year in North Carolina,
many acres of forest land are lost due to fire. Often, these fires are started as the direct result of carelessness. Remember,
your burning permit does not release you of civil or criminal responsibility. You must have the tools and equipment necessary
to keep your fire under control. We recommend you have a garden hose, a shovel and a rake at the minimum. Additionally, we
do not recommend open burning on days in which the winds are forecast to be in excess of 9 mph and/or the relative humidity
is to be less than 25%. You can get this information online by checking the local National Weather Service Fire Weather
Forecast. If you have a scanner, you may be able to receive this information from the North Carolina Division of Forest
Resources. Fire weather forecasts go out daily at 9am on 151.355 Mhz. For more information on safe open burning practices,
you may download our Open Burning Safety Brochure.
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