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Fall fire season is here, backyard burning the #1 cause of wildfires in NC

A firefighter monitors a back fire while battling the Medocino Complex fire on Aug. 7, near Lodoga, Calif. The Mendocino Complex Fire, which is made up of the River Fire and Ranch Fire, has become the largest wildfire in state history with over 344,890 acres charred.
Justin Sullivan
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A firefighter monitors a back fire while battling the Medocino Complex fire on Aug. 7, near Lodoga, Calif. The Mendocino Complex Fire, which is made up of the River Fire and Ranch Fire, has become the largest wildfire in state history with over 344,890 acres charred.

With fall wildfire season near, the N.C. Forest Service is reminding people to be careful when burning.

Officials say peak months for the fall fire season are October through early December and fires left unattended can get out of hand quickly, becoming wildfires that may threaten lives and property.

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler says escaped fires due to careless backyard burning continue to be the leading cause of wildfires in North Carolina.

Last year there were nearly 7,000 wildfires that burned about 27,000 acres in North Carolina, and he said only 1% of them were directly linked to a natural ignition source like lightning. The other 99% were directly related to human activity.

Troxler added that some of the state’s most intense wildfires during the fall of 2021 were caused by escaped campfires.

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. She has been involved in the media industry in eastern North Carolina for more than three years. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to ENC to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of toddler and baby cuddling, reading, designing costumes for children’s theater and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to westona@cravencc.edu.