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State forest service asking people to burn cautiously as wildfire season approaches

N.C. Forest Service officials say significant smoke is possible and may result in tedious travel conditions in some areas. In the interest of safety, they say people should allow for extra travel time or plan to take alternate routes.
N.C. Forest Service
File: It is wildfire season and the North Carolina Forest Service is urging people to be cautious when burning.

It is wildfire season and the North Carolina Forest Service is urging people to be cautious when burning.

While the state's summertime wildfires have been larger in recent years, in fall they happen more frequently due to drier weather and vegetation.

Last year, there were almost 4,700 wildfires in the state, burning nearly 70,000 acres and the NC Forest Service said more than a quarter of them happened in the fall months.

Most of the state’s wildfires were caused by people. Officials say only 1% could be directly linked to a natural ignition source like lightning.

Debris burning is the most common form of human-caused wildfires.

To decrease risk, the forest service recommends getting a burn permit, being mindful of weather, and always having a water source nearby before burning debris.

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