Buncombe County just announced that the open burning ban that became effective Monday, Nov. 6 will be lifted Thursday, Nov. 30 at 8 a.m. Buncombe County Fire Marshal Kevin Tipton told the Asheville Citizen-Times that “the ban was the longest he had imposed in his two years as the county’s top fire official.”
Tipton says that “while drought conditions have not changed, the forecasted weather pattern will not be favorable for fire spread and development.” County officials stated weather conditions are improving, with the forecast predicting moisture, humidity levels at or above 50%, and calm winds.
Since WNC counties are continuing to experience moderate to severe drought conditions, Tipton advises residents to be extremely cautious if burning and stresses that fires should always be monitored until completely extinguished.
Outdoor fire safety is key — to keep the environment and yourself safe, the County encourages you to protect your home against the dangers of wildfire by mowing your lawn, removing any debris from the roof and gutters, and clearing the perimeter of your home from flammable materials. Find more information on outdoor fire safety from the NC Forest Service.
The lifting of the open burning ban comes after the local State of Emergency was rescinded in the City of Asheville, Town of Weaverville, Town of Woodfin, Town of Montreat, and the Town of Biltmore Forest on Thursday, Nov. 23 at 8 a.m., allowing outdoor recreational fires contained in rings, pits, chimenea devices, outdoor fireplaces, and stoves.
The NC Forest Service also lifted open burning bans on Wednesday, Nov. 22 at 5 p.m., although the local State of Emergency here in Buncombe County took precedence over the decision.