GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — With no rain in the forecast this week, officials in some counties are considering putting burn bans in place.
Firefighters across the Piedmont are seeing an uptick in outdoor fires. Some crews have been extra busy.
Firefighters in Randolph County have responded to 71 brush, grass or woods fires since the beginning of November. That’s, on average, about six fires per day.
The fire department in Greensboro has responded to 43 outside fires since November 1st. The Guilford County fire marshal is talking with state fire leaders about possible next steps.
“We are anticipating this week if we do not receive any rain, that there will be a burn ban,” said Deputy Chief Dwayne Church with the Greensboro Fire Department.
Guilford County could soon join the more than 30 counties across North Carolina currently under a burn ban.
“We have seen an increase in outside fires and basically it’s due to the dry conditions that we’re experiencing here,” said Church.
Between Friday and Sunday, Greensboro firefighters responded to 14 outside fire calls, some of which were sparked by fireworks.
“You’ll shoot off a firework, it will go onto the roof, and you won’t realize where it’s at and then eventually it does catch the roof on fire,” said Church.
Church said even one tiny spark can cause a big problem because of the dry leaves and slight breeze. Greensboro has a city ordinance prohibiting any outside burning, but outdoor burns are allowed outside city limits.
Church is urging people to hold off on burning their leaves, but if you must, make sure you’re prepared.
“Always have that hose line a garden hose with you, something to extinguish that fire,” he said. “Make sure that you’re aware of the wind conditions, because if it is real windy then that fire will spread very easily.”
We should know in the coming days if the Guilford County fire marshal decides it’s necessary to implement a burn ban.
There is one right now in Rockingham County. Emergency officials there said since it went in effect on Thursday of last week, crews have only responded to four fire calls, so the ban seems to be working.