Wildfire Danger Level For:
Low Fire Danger
North Carolina requires burning permits if conducting open fires.
You can be fined up to $25,000 for illegal open burning in N.C.
It’s illegal to burn:
- Garbage, paper and cardboard
- Tires and other rubber products
- Building materials, including lumber, wire, plastics and synthetic materials
- Asphalt shingles and heavy oils
- Paints, household and agricultural chemicals
Smoke from open burning can cause serious health problems and pollute the air. That’s why the state regulates open burning. Only leaves, branches or other plant growth can be burned.
Homeowners can burn yard trimmings (excluding logs and stumps) if allowable under local ordinances, no public pickup is available, and it doesn’t cause a public nuisance. Other allowable burning includes campfires, outdoor barbeques, and bonfires for festive occasions.
Landowners can also open burn vegetation to clear land or rights-of-way, provided that:
- Prevailing winds are away from built up areas and roads.
- Fires are at least 500 feet away from occupied buildings.
- Burning is done between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Remember, burn permits issued by the NC Forest Service or any local government do not excuse a person from following these rules. For more information, contact your Air Quality Regional Supervisor or County Forest Ranger.
For Wilkes County, click here for NC Forest Service Wilkes
Recreational fires are legal in Wilkes County as long as they follow the county guidelines:
- The landowner must give permission for the recreational fire.
- Fire is a maximum size of 3’x3’x2′ and is in an approved pit lined with metal stone or masonry.
- Fire is at least 25 feet from combustible materials including structures and overhead fuels.
- Fire is burning clean, seasoned firewood or charcoal only: no brush or yard debris.
- Fire is supervised at all times by someone 16 years of age or older.
- There are tools to extinguish the fire: a charged hoseline or a five-gallon bucket of water and a shovel.
- The fire does not create a smoke nuisance.