COMMUNITY NEWS

Concord Fire Marshal restricts burning due to drought conditions
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

CONCORD – The Concord Fire Department is taking proactive measures to reduce the risk of local wildfires as statewide drought conditions and fire risk worsens. Concord, Kannapolis, and Harrisburg are already asking the greater community to voluntarily conserve water in response to drought conditions. As drought conditions worsen, the secondary problem of fire risk also requires the community's attention. At least one brush fire has occurred locally this month, and the western counties of North Carolina are facing significant wildfires requiring statewide resources.

Chapter 34 of the City's Code of Ordinances prohibits open burning fires within City limits, but includes certain exceptions where specific types of fires are typically permitted. Effective immediately, the Fire Department is voiding all active burn permits and will refrain from issuing new burn permits until further notice.

Outdoor fires allowed by City Code without applying for a burn permit include fires in approved fire places, chimeneas, manufactured fire pits, or cooking in gas/charcoal grills. The Fire Department is not restricting the ability for these types of fires at this time, but does encourage the public to refrain from this activity in the interest of public safety.

This is an evolving situation. If conditions continue to worsen, the Fire Department will recommend a total ban on all fires, with the exception of cooking in gas/charcoal grills.

The public is reminded that Concord is subject to decisions made by the North Carolina Forest Service. For information about State burn bans, visit
ncforestservice.gov. The North Carolina Forest Service also has coordinated information about active wildfire incidents available on its Situation Report page.

For information on air quality and the impact of wildfires, visit
NC Air Quality Forecast Center website.

For additional information about open burning or fire prevention call the
Fire Marshal's Office at 704-920-5517.