As I worked in my yard this weekend raking pine straw, I noticed many of my neighbors in their yards raking and burning leaves. Burning leaves and yard debris is common in North Carolina and occurs year round but it can also be dangerous. Since fires can spread fast and can cause brush fires and other severe damage if they get out of hand, it is important to take precautions and know the local laws on burning. Here are a few things to consider if you plan on burning any leaves in your yard:
- Check with local government officials to see if burning is prohibited in your area
- Obtain the proper permits if required
- Do not burn if it is dry or windy outside
- Have fire tools on hand–garden hose, a bucket, steel rake, and a shovel for tossing dirt
- Do not use gasoline, kerosene or diesel to start a fire
- Stay with your fire until it is completely out.
Be safe and consult your local county forestry ranger if you have any questions.